Rafael Nadal has won 12 straight matches and two straight tournaments. And he hasn’t dropped a set yet in Madrid, ripping past American Sam Querrey 6-4, 6-2 after Querrey appeared to have the Spaniard cornered. (Nadal was behind 4-1 in the first set with a Querrey break point at hand, but battled back.) That puts Nadal — just the No. 5 seed based solely on his injury woes from last season — into the quarters. It took him just 70 minutes to win, only two more than World No. 1 Novak Djokovic needed to dispatch Roberto Bautista Agut for his ticket to the quarterfinals.
Nadal has won the Madrid Open four times, with consecutive titles in 2013 and 2014. Nadal has 49 victories on clay, a record he shares for the moment with Guillermo Vilas. Nadal looks fit in a way he hasn’t since 2014, though he did reach the finals at Madrid last year, losing to Djokovic in straight sets. This year Nadal is dominating his opponents like the powerful machine of old, even looking dominant when he falls behind. The French Open at Roland Garros, where he is king, begins later this month.