Rafael Nadal eased into the quarter-finals of the Monte-Carlo Masters with a confident straight sets victory over Karen Khachanov.
The world No. 1, chasing a remarkable 11th title in Monaco, got on top early against the young Russian and never looked like loosening his grip as he forced the 21-year-old into submission.
Though Khachanov put up admirable fight, the match always had an air of inevitability about it – as so many Nadal contests on clay do – and the top seed secured a 6-3 6-2 victory.
Up next is the only man who held a candle to him on the dirt in 2017, Dominic Thiem.
The world No. 7 was the only man to beat the 16-time Grand Slam champion on the surface last season and he fought back against Novak Djokovic in dramatic fashion to book his spot in the last-eight.
Nadal will no doubt enter the tie as the favourite but it may well prove to be the match of the tournament, and it certainly stands to reason that it will be the 31-year-olds toughest match of the week.
The Spaniard got on top early, breaking to love on his way to a 3-0 lead and despite a brief blip on serve at 4-2, he broke once more to wrap up the opener.
A swift break at the start of the second followed and Nadal never looked back as he stormed to victory.