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

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.

Related news

Roger Federer extends Western & Southern Open unbeaten streak to 11 matches

Roger Federer extends Western & Southern Open unbeaten streak to 11 matches

Federer advanced to the third round with a 6-4, 6-4 victory against Peter Gojowczyk, and Williams was eliminated by eighth-seeded Petra Kvitova in a 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 second-round loss.

Serena Williams falls to Petra Kvitova in Cincinnati second round

Serena Williams falls to Petra Kvitova in Cincinnati second round

Serena Williams was eliminated from the Western & Southern Open on Tuesday, falling to eighth-seeded Petra Kvitova in a 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 second-round loss.

Novak Djokovic makes winning start in Cincinnati as Murray falls in opener

Novak Djokovic makes winning start in Cincinnati as Murray falls in opener

Novak Djokovic overcame home favourite Steve Johnson, Stan Wawrinka beat Diego Schwartzman and Andy Murray was eliminated in the first round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

Andy Murray falls to Lucas Pouille in first round in Cincinnati

Andy Murray falls to Lucas Pouille in first round in Cincinnati

Andy Murray lost to Lucas Pouille 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 in the first round of the Western & Southern Open on Monday, clearing another obstacle for Roger Federer in this US Open tune-up.

Serena Williams bounces back with straight-set win at Western & Southern Open

Serena Williams bounces back with straight-set win at Western & Southern Open

Serena Williams bounced back from the most lopsided loss of her career, cruising past Daria Gavrilova 6-1, 6-2 at the Western & Southern Open on Monday.

After Rogers Cup crown, Rafael Nadal pulls out of Cincy tournament to rest

After Rogers Cup crown, Rafael Nadal pulls out of Cincy tournament to rest

Rafael Nadal dropped out of the Western & Southern Open on Sunday night, scuttling a reunion of the "Big Four."

Rafael Nadal topples birthday boy Stefanos Tsitsipas in Toronto final

Rafael Nadal topples birthday boy Stefanos Tsitsipas in Toronto final

Rafael Nadal ended the red-hot run of Greek upstart Stefanos Tsitsipas with a 6-2 7-6(4) win on Sunday that gave the Spanish top seed his fourth Rogers Cup championship.

Simona Halep beats Sloane Stephens in Montreal in repeat of French Open win

Simona Halep beats Sloane Stephens in Montreal in repeat of French Open win

World number one Simona Halep turned back American Sloane Stephens 7-6(6) 3-6 6-4 to win the Rogers Cup women's title in a rematch of their French Open finale in Montreal on Sunday.

Nadal sees off Khachanov to set up Tsitsipas showdown in Rogers Cup final

Nadal sees off Khachanov to set up Tsitsipas showdown in Rogers Cup final

World number one Rafael Nadal eased past Russia’s Karen Khachanov 7-6 (7/3) 6-4 to reach the final of the Rogers Cup in Toronto.

RELATED NEWS

Roger Federer extends Western & Southern Open unbeaten streak to 11 matches
Roger Federer v Peter Gojowczyk 6-4, 6-4

Roger Federer extends Western & Southern Open unbeaten streak to 11 matches

Federer advanced to the third round with a 6-4, 6-4 victory against Peter Gojowczyk, and Williams was eliminated by eighth-seeded Petra Kvitova in a 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 second-round loss.

Serena Williams falls to Petra Kvitova in Cincinnati second round
Petra Kvitova v Serena Williams 6-3 2-6 6-3

Serena Williams falls to Petra Kvitova in Cincinnati second round

Serena Williams was eliminated from the Western & Southern Open on Tuesday, falling to eighth-seeded Petra Kvitova in a 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 second-round loss.

Novak Djokovic makes winning start in Cincinnati as Murray falls in opener
Novak Djokovic v Steve Johnson 6-4 7-6 (7/4)

Novak Djokovic makes winning start in Cincinnati as Murray falls in opener

Novak Djokovic overcame home favourite Steve Johnson, Stan Wawrinka beat Diego Schwartzman and Andy Murray was eliminated in the first round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

Andy Murray falls to Lucas Pouille in first round in Cincinnati
Lucas Pouille v Andy Murray 6-1, 1-6, 6-4

Andy Murray falls to Lucas Pouille in first round in Cincinnati

Andy Murray lost to Lucas Pouille 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 in the first round of the Western & Southern Open on Monday, clearing another obstacle for Roger Federer in this US Open tune-up.

Serena Williams bounces back with straight-set win at Western & Southern Open
Serena Williams v Daria Gavrilova 6-1, 6-2

Serena Williams bounces back with straight-set win at Western & Southern Open

Serena Williams bounced back from the most lopsided loss of her career, cruising past Daria Gavrilova 6-1, 6-2 at the Western & Southern Open on Monday.

After Rogers Cup crown, Rafael Nadal pulls out of Cincy tournament to rest
Western & Southern Open news

After Rogers Cup crown, Rafael Nadal pulls out of Cincy tournament to rest

Rafael Nadal dropped out of the Western & Southern Open on Sunday night, scuttling a reunion of the "Big Four."

Rafael Nadal topples birthday boy Stefanos Tsitsipas in Toronto final
Rafael Nadal v Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2 7-6(4)

Rafael Nadal topples birthday boy Stefanos Tsitsipas in Toronto final

Rafael Nadal ended the red-hot run of Greek upstart Stefanos Tsitsipas with a 6-2 7-6(4) win on Sunday that gave the Spanish top seed his fourth Rogers Cup championship.

Simona Halep beats Sloane Stephens in Montreal in repeat of French Open win
Simona Halep v Sloane Stephens 7-6(6) 3-6 6-4

Simona Halep beats Sloane Stephens in Montreal in repeat of French Open win

World number one Simona Halep turned back American Sloane Stephens 7-6(6) 3-6 6-4 to win the Rogers Cup women's title in a rematch of their French Open finale in Montreal on Sunday.

Nadal sees off Khachanov to set up Tsitsipas showdown in Rogers Cup final
Rafael Nadal v Karen Khachanov 7-6 (7/3) 6-4

Nadal sees off Khachanov to set up Tsitsipas showdown in Rogers Cup final

World number one Rafael Nadal eased past Russia’s Karen Khachanov 7-6 (7/3) 6-4 to reach the final of the Rogers Cup in Toronto.