Fourth seed Rafael Nadal takes on unseeded Diego Schwartzman in the Men's singles quarter-final of 2017 Monte Carlo Masters on Friday.
The nine-time champion continued his fine early-season form by demolishing 14th seed Alexander Zverev 6-1, 6-1 in the third round yesterday. While his previous two meetings with the German were thrillers that went to deciders, Nadal looked unstoppable on clay yesterday.
On the other hand, Schwartzman decimated Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff, who had ousted Grigor Dimitrov on Wednesday, in straight games to set up his third career meeting with Nadal.
Nadal was tested in the first round by Great Britian's Kyle Edmund but his decimation of Alexander yesterday would have sent a strong message to the rest of the back.
On a day when two top seeds, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka, bowed out and Novak Djokovic was pushed to the limits, the 14-time Grand Slam winner did not break a sweat, much to the surprise of quite a few who had expected another tight encounter between Alexander and Nadal.
With a semi-final meeting against two-time champion Djokovic on the cards, Nadal would not want to spend much time on the court today and he starts as favourite against his Argentine opponent. Notably, Schwartzman has never been able to find success against the Spaniard, losing both their meetings in the past.
The 24-year-old though has had the exposure of playing on clay courts earlier this season, reaching the quarter-final at Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. However, he will find it tough to stop Nadal, who is looking hungrier than ever.