tinyfav.com May 22, 2018

Nadal in Monte Carlo Masters semi-finals

22 April 2018, 01:46 | Jermaine Blake

GETTYKaren Khachanov has the tools to hurt Rafael Nadal

Karen Khachanov

Rafael Nadal once again proved his superiority on clay courts with a Monte Carlo Masters semi-final win over Grigor Dimitrov. "Being honest, I have to recognize that".

Former winners in the field are the 10-time champion Nadal (2017-16, '13-11, '09-05), Nishikori (2015-14), Verdasco (2010), and Robredo (2004).

BC-TEN-Monte Carlo Masters, 4th Ld-Writethru, 582Nadal wants extra practice after reaching Monte Carlo finalAP Photo XVK120, XVK119, ENA106, XVK106, XVK106, XVK137, XVK140, XVK128Eds: Updates with different approach.

Thiem was wilting in the sweltering conditions and under the pressure from the other side of the net, and then back-to-back miscued forehands saw him lose an eighth straight game.

Dimitrov gave as good as he got in the opening set, fighting back from 3-0 down to level at 3-3 with excellent defence and stunning athleticism.

The 31-year-old brought up match point with a searing forehand victor, and completed a 68-minute demolition as Thiem fired a backhand into the net.

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"Yes, for sure he's the favourite".

And, speaking ahead of his match against Dimitrov, Nadal revealed he had been talking to Murray about his injury woes. "It is hard to play better than today".

Gasquet's hopes of a first Masters semi-final appearance since 2013 were dashed in an incredible finish, and it will be Zverev who takes on Japan's Kei Nishikori in the last-four. The most recent match was in the 2016 olympics, a match Nishikori won in three sets.

"It was the first time I have played on my birthday, so it's great to win and to be in the semi-finals", he said.

Event organizers made the announcement on Friday, a day after the Serb was beaten by Dominic Thiem in the Monte Carlo Masters third round.

Nadal, playing his first ATP tournament since he retired from his Australian Open quarter-final against Marin Cilic in January with a hip injury, has shown no signs of rust.

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