Monte Carlo, April 18: Three-time defending champion Rafael Nadal made short work of Grigor Dimitrov to rack up a 70th win at the Monte Carlo Masters on Thursday.
The Spaniard held a formidable 11-1 record against Dimitrov prior to the third-round contest and has now won five straight matches against the Bulgarian after a 6-4 6-1 triumph.
Nadal, seeking a 12th title in Monte Carlo, dropped just five games in a semi-final meeting with Dimitrov 12 months ago and repeated the trick in a match lasting just over an hour and a half.
Dimitrov responded to an early break with some neat touches at the net and levelled the set when Nadal tried to wrongfoot his opponent with a forehand that went long.
But, when serving to stay in the set, Dimitrov skewed a forehand wildly out and was outclassed in a one-sided second set.
Dimitrov went long with a forehand to fall behind 2-0 and, after saving a break point at 3-0, was broken again at 4-1 down when he could only put a fierce Nadal shot back into the net.
Nadal then routinely served out for the match to book a quarter-final meeting with Guido Pella.