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Straight-sets victory gives Rafael Nadal a record

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Rafa Nadal reacts as he plays against Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman during their ATP Madrid Open round of 16 tennis match at the Caja Magica in Madrid on May 10, 2018
(Oscar Del Pozo / AFP/Getty Images)

Rafael Nadal was a 6-3, 6-4 winner over Diego Schwartzman in the third round of the Madrid Open on Thursday, breaking John McEnroe’s record of 49 consecutive sets won on the same surface. Nadal extended his winning streak to 50 consecutive sets on clay, eclipsing the mark McEnroe established on carpet in 1984.

“When my career is over,” Nadal said, “these are things that are going to be there for always. It’s difficult to be able to win 50 sets in a row. 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.”

The world No. 1’s focus is trained on his next match against Dominic Thiem, a rematch of last year’s final. Thiem, a 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 winner over Borna Coric, is the last player to defeat Nadal on clay — in the quarterfinals at Rome last year.

Also on the men’s side, second-seeded Alexander Zverev cruised to a 6-4, 6-2 victory against Leonardo Mayer and will meet John Isner after Isner edged Pablo Cuevas in a match that needed tiebreakers to decide all three sets.

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Top women fall

While Nadal marched on, the top women’s players continued to struggle in the Spanish capital after top-ranked Simona Halep and Maria Sharapova lost in the quarterfinals.

Etc.

Serena Williams committed to return to the Bay Area this summer to play in the former Stanford WTA stop that will move to San Jose State.

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