Rafael Nadal’s bid for a ninth successive Monte Carlo Masters crown remained on track today as the third seed swept into the quarter-finals with a straight-sets defeat of Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Nadal was rarely troubled by the German, turning in a typically dominant clay court performance to see off the world number 21 6-2 6-4 in 81 minutes.
He did not allow Kohlschreiber a break point as he extended his winning streak in the principality to 44 matches – his only defeat coming in 2003 to Guillermo Coria.
Nadal has looked strong since coming back from a seven-month injury lay-off in February, claiming the titles in Sao Paulo, Acapulco and Indian Wells after returning with a runner-up performance in Vina del Mar.
He will next face Grigor Dimitrov, who continued his improved form of late with a 6-2 6-4 defeat of Florian Mayer.
Sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga breezed past Jurgen Melzer 6-3 6-0 but fourth seed Tomas Berdych was surprisingly ousted 6-4 6-2 by Italian Fabio Fognini.