Rafael Nadal clearly set out his intentions to win a seventh French Open title as he brushed aside Juan Monaco 6-2 6-0 6-0 to reach the quarter-finals at Roland Garros.
The second seed was detained for only one hour and 46 minutes on Court Suzanne Lenglen as he set up a clash with fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro, a straight-sets conqueror of Janko Tipsarevic.
Argentinian Monaco battled hard in the first set but was blown away thereafter as Nadal stepped up a gear, winning 17 games in succession with a clinical display.
Nadal broke in the fifth game of the match and again in a magnificent next game on Monaco's serve.
Monaco responded to Nadal's shot through his own legs with a delicate drop-volley winner to reach 30-30 but Nadal forced break point in another stunning rally, pinning his opponent in the corner with a forehand down the line before making two volleys to win the point.
He converted and duly served out the set, taking his third set point with a routine overhead.
An early break followed in the second set and Monaco squandered the chance to immediately respond, failing on two break points in the next game.
That was as close as he got in the remainder of the match, with Nadal breaking twice more and then wrapping up the set with a love service game.
An emphatic overhead wrapped up a break in the opening game of the third as Nadal extended his winning run to 12 successive games and there was no let-up, the Spaniard opening up a 4-0 lead with his South American opponent looking all at sea and showing his frustration.
He celebrated ironically when Nadal sent a forehand long in the next game but was broken to 15 and was soon put out of his misery.
Nadal said: "When I had the first break, I started to play very well. Before I didn't play fantastic, but he started the match playing aggressive, playing good shots.
"In my opinion, he was unlucky in the first set. That's my feeling, 6-2 was too much. Later, for sure I was very happy the way I played. I feel very, very sorry for him.
"I think he's playing probably the best tennis of his career, but probably not today, especially in the last set. I saw him suffering a little bit on court at the end. He's one of my best friends on tour."
Nadal now meets 12th seed Nicolas Almagro, but with every match it seems more and more unlikely that anyone will be able to deny him a record seventh title at Roland Garros.
The Spaniard, who celebrated his 26th birthday on Sunday, said of his winning streak: "It's the only thing I could do so that I could fight back.
"This does happen in special circumstances. But I'm not certain that this could be repeated again. It's due to circumstances, the conditions were all favourable at this moment in time.
"This is how I managed to win these 17 games. This result is lopsided. I shouldn't have this type of score against one of the best players in the world."