Another milestone for Nadal
Rafael Nadal's 300th tour win on clay was routine as he brushed aside Italian Andreas Seppi at the Monte Carlo Masters.
The top-seeded Spaniard, eight times a winner of the French Open, is aiming to recapture the Monte Carlo title after an eight-year unbeaten stretch at the tournament was halted by Novak Djokovic 12 months ago.
His clinical 6-1 6-3 win over Seppi, who has helped Italy reach the Davis Cup semi-finals, signalled Nadal remains a fearsome opponent on the red dirt, and a certain contender for the title this week.
It sets up a quarter-final on Friday against Nadal's fellow Spaniard David Ferrer, the sixth seed who took out Bulgarian 12th seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 6-2.
Nadal said on the ATP Tour website: "David is a tough, tough player on any surface. But here on clay, it's always a big challenge.
"I have played a lot of matches against him, very tough ones. If you are not at your top, top level, it is very difficult to win. I need to be ready for that."
Djokovic means business too, and for a second straight game the second seed dropped only one game, this time beating Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta 6-0 6-1, earning a shot at another Spaniard in unseeded Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
Garcia-Lopez earned a 4-6 6-3 6-1 win over Tomas Berdych, the Czech fifth seed.
Roger Federer marched on to an appealing quarter-final against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, with the Swiss beating Czech Lukas Rosol 6-4 6-1. From a set behind against Italian Fabio Fognini, Tsonga turned on the style to prevail 5-7 6-3 6-0.
Federer's countryman Stanislas Wawrinka was gifted a last-eight place when Nicolas Almagro pulled out of their contest, and the Australian Open runner-up has Canadian Milos Raonic next in his path, the big-serving North American posting a decent 6-4 6-3 victory over Spain's Tommy Robredo.