Madrid — Rafael Nadal took his clay-court winning streak to 48 successive sets with a 6-3 6-1 win over Gael Monfils in his Madrid Masters opener on Wednesday.
Nadal, who has already claimed an 11th title in Monte Carlo and Barcelona this season, also claimed his 20th win in a row on clay.
He will next face either Spanish compatriot Feliciano Lopez or Diego Schwartzman of Argentina for a place in the quarterfinals. A win in that match will take Nadal past John McEnroe’s record of 49 straight sets won on any surface.
Earlier, Novak Djokovic crashed out losing 6-3 2-6 6-3 to Britain’s Kyle Edmund, who had not taken a set off Djokovic in three previous meetings.
Djokovic, who is still feeling the affects of elbow surgery, stormed through the second set on the Manolo Santana court and, at his best, might never have looked back. But he spurned three break points and Edmund pounced to win.