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Red-hot Nadal refuses to dwell on ATP record

The world number one broke John McEnroe's 34-year record for consecutive sets won on a single surface but was more concerned with Thiem's threat.

Red-hot Nadal refuses to dwell on ATP record
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World number one Rafael Nadal played down his record-breaking performance en route to the Madrid Open quarter-finals after claiming his 50th successive set on clay.

Nadal moved ahead of John McEnroe's Open Era mark of 49 consecutive sets won on a single surface with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Diego Schwartzman on Thursday.

The 16-time grand slam champion broke McEnroe's 34-year record but Nadal was unwilling to dwell on the achievement at the Caja Magica.

"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," the Spanish star 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."

Amid a run of 21 successive victories on the red dirt, Nadal preferred to focus on his quarter-final showdown with Dominic Thiem.

Thiem was the last player to upstage Nadal on clay - reigning supreme at the Internazionali d'Italia in 2017.

"Very tough match. Especially here on this surface and even more in altitude. His bounces and topspin are very high and difficult to control," Nadal said. 

"I need to be ready for tomorrow. It will be a very tough match to play but it's a good opportunity to play against one of the best players of the world."