(Yahoo Sports) – Rafael Nadal cruised into the last eight at the Madrid Open on Thursday with an uneventful 6-3 6-4 defeat of Frances Tiafoe.
Tiafoe was far from embarrassed but he never really lay a glove on the clay king, his sole break point opportunity coming and going in a flash.
Rafa hit his stride after a steady start and broke to lead at 3-1 when Tiafoe was caught out at the net.
The American worked hard to ensure Rafa could make no further inroads in the opener but that one break was enough to take the set, with little pressure on the favourite’s serve.
Tiafoe worked a break-point opening early in the second yet found a resolute Rafa in his path, stylishly reclaiming control.
And the Spaniard led in the very next game as he blasted a forehand across the court to leave Tiafoe stranded and facing a now inevitable exit.
Rafa trailed 30-0 as he served for the match, but quickly moved through the gears to finish Tiafoe off with a pair of storming serves.
I’m very happy. It has been an important result against a tough opponent… He came into this match with good confidence winning against two great players on clay.
It has been a tough match. I think I did a lot of things well tonight. So happy with performance and yeah excited to be through.
The five-time winner, yet to drop a set in two matches this week, will face Stan Wawrinka next.
Source: Yahoo Sports
Congrats love your tennis
We see you and know the intensity of your desire to win. Great to see you loving the moment of victory.🥰good luck tomorrow🤛👍💪👏🍀💕
Well done Rafa <3
Congratulations Rafa well don you have play so good with @ great confidence vamossssssssss champ you can do it the King of clay love ❤️ 💪💪💪💪😘😘😘😘❤️❤️❤️❤️🎾🎾🎾🎾❤️
Congrats Rafa . Wish it was the final tomorrow – After Rafa Wawrinka is my absolute favorit player. So happy Wawrinka is coming back to top level and very good to witness you Rafa finding yourself and your game again.
Watch out ATP guys, king of clay has woken up. 💪💪💪vamos
Very good match from El Rey del Clay! Much better serving and depth on the groundies. Best of luck versus Stanimal, Rafa!
Nadal is not playing his best tennis and made too many errors especially on the forehand. I usually look forward to those topspin down the line but today it wasn’t the case.
Tiofoe was just as bad but am looking forward to the Nadal Stan quarter final.
It’s true—if you watched the match, Nadal did not play his best tennis against Tiafoe, who also did not play very well. Rafa’s game had an unusual amount of unforced errors, his shots lacked depth, and his forehand frequently found the net. I think his match against Felix was higher quality, but he is still adjusting.
This is by no means an insult to Rafa, and we all want to see him do well. I hope he can keep raising his level as he goes deeper into the tournament, especially tomorrow against Stan. Vamos, Rafa! We’re with you!
Very well played match ,congratulation Rafa keep playing hard