Rafael Nadal has claimed a slice of tennis history after winning his 50th set in a row on the same surface.
The Spaniard defeated Diego Schwartzman 6-3 6-4 in the Madrid Open on Thursday to eclipse John McEnroe, who won 49 straight sets on carpet in 1984.
“When my career is over, these are things that are going to be there for always. It’s difficult to be able to win 50 sets in a row,” Nadal said.
“Well, it’s done. It’s over. Let’s not talk about that any more and let’s continue on what we have ahead, which is what I am concerned about.”
Nadal will now face Dominic Thiem, who overcame Borna Coric 2-6 7-6 (5) 6-4 .
The Austrian is the last player to defeat Nadal on clay (in Rome last year), and the world number one is expecting a tough test again.
“On this surface, [Thiem] is one of the most dangerous players you can face,” he said. “[It] is a key match in the tournament.”
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