ROME – Rafael Nadal defeated Jack Sock 6-3, 6-4 on Thursday to claim a spot in the quarterfinals of the Italian Open, where the Spaniard will face Dominic Thiem for the third time in less than a month.
The world No. 4 extended his string of consecutive victories to 17 as he advanced toward what would be his eighth title in the Rome event.
Nadal, whose previous match was cut short when opponent Nicolas Almagro retired after less than half an hour due to injury needed only 81 minutes Thursday to beat the American Sock, who started the tournament as 13th seed.
Sock has won only once in four matches against Nadal.
The Spaniard’s next opponent will seem very familiar.
Austria’s Thiem lost to Nadal in straight sets in the finals at Barcelona and Madrid.
Ranked 8th in the world, Thiem qualified for the semifinals with a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7) triumph over Sam Querrey.