Rafael Nadal cruised into the last eight of Roland Garros on Monday, passing two big career milestones along the way.
The King of Clay’s latest win in Paris, a 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(7-4) victory over young German Maximilian Marterer saw Nadal move into third place on the all-time list of match-winners at grand slam tournaments.
It was the Spaniard’s 234th win, taking in past Jimmy Connors on 233 and leaving just Novak Djokovic (244) and Roger Federer (332) ahead of him.
The victory was also notable as it was Nadal’s 900th career singles win.
Only four other players have achieved the mark: Jimmy Connors (1,256), Roger Federer (1,149), Ivan Lendl (1,068) and Guillermo Vilas (949).
The landmarks came just one day after he celebrated his 32nd birthday.
He will now face good friend and training partner Diego Schwartzman in the last eight, after the Argentine fought back to beat Kevin Anderson in five sets.
“I’m never going to invite him again, because every time he comes, he comes out much better,” Nadal said of the duo’s recent time together at Nadal’s academy. “It’s always good to see him in the quarter-final because he’s a good friend, a good person. He’s a worker, and I am happy to see him having all this success.”
Asked about their upcoming meeting, Nadal said he would not be underestimating his friend.
“He’s No 12 in the world,” Nadal said. “It’s a match against one of the best players of the world today, so you expect a very tough match and you need to be ready to accept that it’s going to be a tough match and fight for it.
“I know what I have to do, but it’s tough to make that happen, because he’s so good.”