Madrid Open: Rafael Nadal breaks John McEnroe's 34-year-old set record

Madrid Open: Rafael Nadal breaks John McEnroe's 34-year-old set record

Madrid Open: Rafael Nadal breaks John McEnroe's 34-year-old set record

The 16-time grand slam champion will face Dominic Thiem, the last man to beat him on clay at the Internazionali d'Italia in 2017, in the last eight as he attempts to win the tournament for a sixth time and claim a third consecutive title following his triumphs in Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

The world number one has now won his last 20 matches on clay and has racked up 48 consecutive sets - just one short of John McEnroe's record on a single surface.

"It's for sure my best win, and definitely one of the best matches I've played", the Serbian said.

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A break midway through the second set was enough for Lajovic to force a decider before he wrapped up his first career victory over a top-10 opponent in the tiebreak. "I still am not believing it 100 percent, but I know I deserved to win today".

The number 11 seed, Roberto Bautista Agut joined Djokovic in crashing out of the tournament as he was beaten 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 by German, Phillip Kolhschreiber, while number six seed Kevin Anderson progressed after a few scares with a 5-7, 7-6, 7-5 victory against qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin. Edmund, an unseeded Brit, defeated former No. 1 Novak Djokovic in straight sets on Wednesday.

"I really don't think much about that", said Nadal of the record afterwards.

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"(I'm) pleased with the way my game's developing, that I'm able to beat a player like that. "My team and I, we need to keep improving, and keep doing the things that are working very well".

The top seed did not have too long to wait for the only break of the first set, Schwartzman making a mess of a simple overhead volley and crashing a backhand into the net to trail 4-2.

"What (Raonic) does for our country, for tennis, for these past couple years, it's incredible. It does me the world of good in lots of ways: confidence, belief".

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