Nadal too strong for Ferrero

Nadal too strong for Ferrero

Five-time champion marches into semis with another dazzling display

Nadal too strong for Ferrero

Nadal's shock fourth round defeat at last year's French Open was long forgotten as the claycourt master, four-times a winner at Roland Garros, powered past his fellow Spaniard 6-4, 6-2.

Ferrero, who had won 17 of his 18 matches on the slow surface this season, tried to attack Nadal's backhand. Nadal in turn reacted by stifling Ferrero. The second seed, looking for a record sixth win in Monte Carlo and a first ATP title in 11 months, will next face compatriot David Ferrer, a 7-5, 7-6 winner of German Philipp Kohlschreiber.
The all-Spanish showdown had to be halted midway through the first set after gusting winds and rain caused havoc on court. World number three Nadal wiped off dust in his eyes in the third game, but Ferrero refused to get distracted by the airborne debris and grabbed a 3-2 lead in the tense encounter when the players were ordered back into the locker room.

While some fans took cover from the elements by draping Spanish flags around their shoulders, a clearly disgusted Nadal wore a grumpy look as he trudged out of centre court for around 30 minutes.

Upon resumption Nadal stepped up a gear to break for 5-4 with a stunning forehand, following up on serve to clinch the opening set with a service winner. The former world number one kept up the pressure, breaking in the first game of the second set as Ferrero gradually ran out of steam –– and hope.

Ferrer, seeded 11th, ran into a spot of bother against Kohlschreiber. The Spaniard broke decisively in the 11th game to take the opening set when Kohlschreiber netted a forehand.

With Ferrer serving for the match, Kohlschreiber came out strong to break back to love and send the contest into a tiebreak. The decider was a no contest, Ferrer winning it 7-1.
In the other part of the draw, top seed Novak Djokovic scored an impressive 6-2, 6-3 win over Argentine David Nalbandian.

On the line: Daniela Hantuchova whips a backhand return during her win over Angelique Kerber. ReutersWozniacki in quarters
Top seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark moved into the quarterfinals of the Family Circle Cup with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Switzerland's Patty Schnyder on Thursday.  The 19-year-old Dane, who lost last year's final, will now play Russia's Nadia Petrova, the 2006 winner who earlier eased past Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak 6-2, 6-4.

Second seed Jelena Jankovic, who claimed the title in 2007, moved into the last eight with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Evgeniya Rodina of Russia in their first ever meeting.  
The Serb now faces eighth-seed Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia who needed two hours 44 minutes to overcome German Angelique Kerber 6-7, 7-5, 6-3.
Russia's number seven seed Vera Zvonareva also moved into the third round after cruising past Ukraine's ninth-seeded Alona Bondarenko 6-2, 6-1 in just an hour.