Outplayed by Murray in the fist set, Nadal fought back to level the match at one set all, and for an hour it seemed the old Rafa, winner of 9 Roland Garros titles was back. Andy lost it mentally in the third, and Rafa won 2-6 6-4 6-2 in 2 hours and 43 minutes.
“I think I played a great second set in terms of mentality. In the third set, I played aggressive… It was a great match. It’s a very important week for me, being in a final here again in Monte-Carlo, winning against very tough opponents.”
Nadal will play Gael Monfils in the final.
From 25 years of the Tennis Europe Junior Tour:
I never played against Rafa (in juniors) except in doubles. We played the deciding match of the Winter Cups ties on an indoor court. I was playing with Jamie Baker and he was playing with Marcel Granollers, and we lost. I beat Granollers in the singles, Nadal beat Matt Brown in the second singles and then we lost the deciding doubles. But I never played him in singles until we met as pros.
Does that defeat still hurt?
[laughs] Not so much, no. I’ve lost a couple of matches to him since then that have hurt more, but at the time it was definitely a pity.
Rafael Nadal make the Monte Carlo Masters semies for the 11th time after his 6-1 6-4 victory over Roland Garros defending champion Stan Wawrinka. Bothered by the noise coming from the restaurant (lame behaviour by the Swiss in my opinion…), the Swiss really started his match at the beginning of the second set, but Rafa stayed solid and won relatively easily. It is Rafa’s first win on clay over a top 4 player since his win over Novak Djokovic in the 2014 French Open final! Nadal will next face Andy Murray, who dispatched Milos Raonic 6-2 6-0 in an hour.
6-3 6-3 for Rafa. He’ll next face Dominic Thiem who beat him in Buenos Aires last February.
The clay court season begins, and the King of clay will be looking forward to finding his best form. Rafa will meet Aljaz Bedene in the second round, and could next face Dominic Thiem, then Stan Wawrinka in the quarterfinals, Andy Murray in the semis and Novak Djokovic in the final.