Nadal extended his winning streak to 50 consecutive sets on clay,
Nadal extended his winning streak to 50 consecutive sets on clay,

Clay king Rafa smashes McEnroe's carpet record

RAFAEL Nadal has broken John McEnroe's record of 49 straight sets won on the same surface, in beating Diego Schwartzman 6-3 6-4 in the third round of the Madrid Open.

Nadal extended his winning streak to 50 consecutive sets on clay, eclipsing the mark McEnroe established on carpet in 1984.

The top-ranked Nadal, who improved to 18-1 overall on the season, has won 38 of his past 39 matches on his favoured clay.

The 16-time Grand Slam champion is seeking his sixth title in Madrid after taking his trophy hauls at Monte Carlo and Barcelona to 11.

Nadal said he had been unaware of the record.

"When my career is over, these are things that are going to be there for always. They are big records. It's difficult to be able to win 50 sets in a row. But I've done it," he said.

"Let's not talk about that anymore and let's continue on what we have ahead."

Nadal will face Austrian Dominic Thiem in the last eight early on Saturday morning (AEST).

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