(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