Nadal advances to 12th Monte-Carlo Masters final in past 14 years

Dominic Thiem

April. 21 (ANI): World Number one Rafael Nadal reached the Monte-Carlo Masters final on Saturday after thrashing Bulgarian fourth-seed, Grigor Dimitrov by 6-4, 6-1.

He won his last match against Nadal in the 2016 Olympic bronze-medal match, but has never beaten the 10-time Monte Carlo champion on clay.

Thiem, an Austrian who is seeded fifth and beat Nadal twice before on clay, earned sympathetic cheers from the crowd when he finally won a game in the second set.

In the final, Nadal will meet Japanese Kei Nishikori, who defeated Alexander Zverev of Germany 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

This is published unedited from the ANI feed. But on Saturday, Dimitrov was broken four times and lost eight of the match's final nine games to lose 6-4, 6-1.

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Unsurprisingly, Nadal is a heavy favourite to win, with the Exchange making him a current [1.09] to continue the Bulgarian's head to head misery, which sees Nadal having taken 10 of the 11 previous encounters - Dimitrov's one victory was on hard court. "He's one of the best players of the world, especially on clay", per The Express. It has been a great day for me, and a very good result against a very hard rival.

While Nishikori produced a spirited performance to clinch a 6-4, 6-7 (1-7), 6-3 win over Croatia's Marin Cilic in their last-eight clash, Zverev stormed into semi-finals with a 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 win over France's Richard Gasquet. He said his wrist remains a "little bit sore".

No matter that he has not dropped a set in six matches since coming back from a recurrence of a right hip injury; he is more focused on ironing out even the smallest of flaws.

Spain's Rafael Nadal plays a backhand return to Austria's Dominic Thiem during their singles tennis match at the Monte- Carlo ATP Masters Series tournament in Monaco on Saturday.

"I'm sure there is a way to beat him".

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