Rafa Nadal crushes Dominic Thiem to set up Grigor Dimitrov clash in semi-finals
Rafa Nadal v Dominic Thiem 6-0, 6-2

Rafa Nadal crushes Dominic Thiem to set up Grigor Dimitrov clash in semi-finals

21/04/2018

World number one Rafa Nadal reached the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters on Friday as he hammered Dominic Thiem 6-0, 6-2.

Nadal has been in bruising form so far in Monte Carlo, but it had been expected that Thiem, who defeated former number one Novak Djokovic, would give him more of a test.

That did not turn out to be the case as Nadal took the first nine games and ended up wrapping up victory in just over 68 minutes as he totally blew away his young opponent.

Nadal, who knows he needs to win this event to keep his place at the top of the world rankings, was pleased with his performance.

"I think I played a great match - the best of the tournament," said Nadal.

"I played very aggressive, I knew I couldn't give Dominic time to hit the ball and I didn't."

Nadal will face Grigor Dimitrov in the semi-finals after the Bulgarian defeated his doubles partner David Goffin 6-4, 7-6(5).

It was a repeat of last year’s ATP Finals match, which Dimitrov won, but Goffin will be furious that he failed to convert three set points when leading 5-4 in the second set which would have forced a deciding game.

Dimitrov admitted he would be second favourite against Nadal but was looking forward to the clash.

“For sure he's the favourite. Yes, he has a great record. Yes, he's the best player on clay. That definitely doesn't discourage me. That excites me to get out on Saturday and play my match, simple as that.” Dimitrov said.

“I think one of the wrong things you can do is really focus on his side. I always said that. Whoever you play, you always got to focus on your end, the way you structure yourself to go out and play, be creative on the court. That's just how it is.”

In the third quarter-final Kei Nishikori continued his comeback from injury by reaching his first Masters semi-final since July 2016 as he beat Australian Open runner-up Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-7(1), 6-3.

He dropped two match points in the second as Cilic dug deep to take the match to a third game but kept his nerve to secure his place in the last four.

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