Nadal back on song

Nadal back on song

Tennis Monte Carlo Masters : Spaniard downs Wawrinka; Federer stunned

Nadal back on song

 Roger Federer was knocked out of the Monte Carlo Masters when he slumped to a 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 defeat by local favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarterfinals on Friday.

Andy Murray though will face the toughest clay test imaginable, with a semifinal against Rafael Nadal, after crushing an under-done Milos Raonic 6-2, 6-0 on Friday.

Earlier, there were glimpses of the formidable Rafael Nadal as the eight-times champion swept aside French Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka 6-1, 6-4.

Federer, back in action this week following a 10-week layoff, started brightly as he breezed through the opening set but Tsonga, targeting Federer's forehand, played tighter and levelled with a strong display in the second.

The Frenchman broke in the 11th game of the decider with a passing shot winner and he closed it out on serve on his first match point to set up a meeting with either compatriot Gael Monfils or Spain's Marcel Granollers.  Murray, who struggled in the previous round, was never bothered by 10th seed Raonic in a one-sided match.

The Briton, who hit 19 winners and did not face single break point, was beaten twice by Nadal in the semifinals of the first claycourt Masters of the season.

The fifth-seeded Nadal, who broke decisively in the ninth game of the second set, has yet to win a title this year.

"It's exactly what I need, it's what I'm looking for, it gives me confidence," Nadal said.
"Every day is a different story," Nadal said. "The last three games of the first set was the only moment Stan didn't play well. Obviously he played with too many mistakes.

"But the beginning of the match and the second set was a good match. Both of us played good points. He had more mistakes than me.

"I think I played well, I defended well, I moved well. When I had the opportunity, I was trying to have the control of the point with my forehand and with my backhand, too. I'm very happy the way that I played."

Nadal raced to victory in 77 minutes against the tepid Swiss, the 2014 winner.
The disappointed fourth seed ended with 29 unforced errors while dropping serve four times.

"It was not a good day, I rushed at the beginning and I wasn't able to put my game into place," Wawrinka said. "I really need to work on two or three things that I want to improve.”

The match with Murray will be a re-run of the Madrid final from last May, when the Scotsman shocked the 14-time major champion.

"Andy played a great match, I need to be ready to play the way I am playing the last two matches. If I am able to do it, I hope to have my chances," Nadal said.

"I lost a lot of matches before the final last year. Was not a low point. Was a good tournament for me last year in Madrid. I was able to play at a very good level for some matches.”

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