Rafael Nadal
Tennis - Monte Carlo Masters - Monaco, 13/04/2016. Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a shot to Aljaz Bedene of Britain. Reuters/Eric Gaillard

Rafael Nadal continues his bid to kick start his clay-season on a winning note when he meets Dominic Thiem in Round of 16 of the Monte Carlo Masters.

Nadal recorded his 54 th win at the Monte Carlo Masters after defeating Great Britain's Aljaz Bedene 6-3 6-3 in the second round of the tournament. Nadal, a former eight-time champion, sets up an intriguing matchup against Thiem, who defeated Japan’ Taro Daniel 4-6 6-2 6-0.

"Happy for the victory," Nadal said. "I know that I have to improve for tomorrow. But I have confidence because I have been practising very well these weeks."

Nadal ties Thiem by 1-1 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head matchup, with the Spaniard winning in their first encounter back in 2014 at the French Open, where Nadal last conquered a Grand Slam event. Their most recent match was earlier this year at the Argentina Open, where Thiem stunned the 14-time Grand Slam winner en route to winning the title in Buenos Aires.

Nadal is well-aware of Thiem’s potential and form this season, but the 29-year-old admitted he knows what to do once meets the Austrian youngster on the clay-court for the second time this year.

"He's a great player and he's having a very good season," Nadal said of Thiem. "So he's confident. We'll see. We'll see tomorrow. I think I know what I have to do. Doing it is not that easy."

The winner between Nadal and Thiem advances to the quarterfinals to face either France’s Gilles Simon or Swiss Stan Wawrinka.

Nadal gets to tie Novak Djokovic on a record-equalling 28th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown if the former wins the tournament. Djokovic, who suffered a stunning loss against Jiri Vesely in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters, overtook Nadal in that record after back-to-back wins in Indian Wells and Miami Open.

Live streaming info and score updates

Watch the Monte Carlo Masters 2016 live via ATP’s official website or TennisTV. Live scores for matches will be available on game days via ATP's official website.