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This wasn't the way Rafael Nadal hoped to hit a milestone in Rome.

Nadal held a 3-0 lead when Nicolas Almagro sustained a left knee injury while moving behind the baseline and was forced to retire from the all-Spanish second-round match.

Watch: Ferrer Insatiable, Inspiring Competitor

The match was just 24 minutes old when a wincing Almagro appeared to land awkwardly on his left foot. Almagro consulted the trainer, but could not continue and hobbled off the court with heavy taping around his left knee.

Nadal, who walked around to check on his compatriot immediately after the injury and consoled Almagro during his treatment, took no pleasure from his 50th career Rome victory while seeing his friend in pain.

It is Nadal's 16th consecutive victory coming after his fifth Mutua Madrid Open title on Sunday.

Afterward, Nadal hit the practice court with a young training partner.

The seven-time Rome champion will play Jack Sock for a quarterfinal spot.

The 13th-seeded Sock edged Czech left-hander Jiri Vesely, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (1). It was Sock's second win over Vesely this spring following a straight-sets decision in Miami in March.

The fourth-ranked Nadal has beaten Sock in all three of their prior meetings, including a four-set victory at the 2015 Roland Garros. 

Kei Nishikori stopped David Ferrer, 7-5, 6-2, for the second time in the last week. Nishikori defeated Ferrer, 6-4, 6-3, in Madrid last week.

The seventh-seeded Nishikori will take on Juan Martin del Potro next. The 2009 US Open champion dispatched Great Britain's Kyle Edmund, 7-5, 6-4, in one hour, 45 minutes.

The 34th-ranked del Potro has won four of five meetings with Nishikori; this will be their first clay-court encounter. 

Photo credit: Internazionali BNL d'Italia Facebook