Nadal Beats Monfils To Open Quest For Sixth Madrid Crown

  • Posted: May 09, 2018

Nadal Beats Monfils To Open Quest For Sixth Madrid Crown

Spanish star moves to within two sets of breaking McEnroe’s long-standing record

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal recorded his 20th straight clay-court match win and improved to 48 consecutive sets won on the surface Wednesday as he started his quest for a sixth Mutua Madrid Open trophy.

The Spanish superstar soon dismantled the game of France’s Gael Monfils, hitting 17 winners in a 6-3, 6-1 second-round victory that lasted 74 minutes. He is now two sets shy of breaking John McEnroe’s record of 49 straight sets won on a single surface (carpet) in 1984, including 10 to win the Madrid Indoor Open.

Nadal, who improved to 49-10 at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament, will next meet fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, who will become the Tournament Director in 2019, or No. 13 seed Diego Schwartzman of Argentina.

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Nadal got off to a 3-0 lead in his first match on Court Manolo Santana, but talented former World No. 6 Monfils didn’t give up fighting and held break point chances in the first (one) and third games (two). Nadal lost just one of his 13 service points in the 31-minute second set that ended with Monfils, the 2008 and 2010 quarter-finalist, striking a backhand long.

Nadal, who turns 32 on 3 June, is now 17-1 on the season (13-0 on clay), which includes 11th titles at both the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters (d. Nishikori) and the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell (d. Tsitsipas). He is also 14-2 lifetime against Monfils in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

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