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PHOTOS/VIDEO: 2016 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters QF Rafael Nadal vs. Stan Wawrinka
Eight-time champion Rafael Nadal will face Andy Murray in the semi-finals of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters after sweeping past 2014 winner Stan Wawrinka 6-1, 6-4 on Friday.
“Stan made more mistakes than me, but at same time he was going for more on his shots all the time,” Nadal said. “When you want to play this way, very aggressively, you can make mistakes.
“I defended well, I moved well. When I had the opportunity, I was trying to control the point with my forehand and with my backhand, too. I am very happy with the way that I played. The important thing is to play points in a row with the right intensity, without many mistakes.”
It will be the third time that Nadal and Murray have met in the semi-finals at the Monte-Carlo Country Club, with Nadal winning their contests in 2009 and 2011. Nadal leads their overall head-to-head 16-6, but it was Murray who won their last clay-court meeting, in the Madrid final last year.
The 29-year-old Nadal is looking to win the Monte-Carlo crown for the ninth time this week. The Spaniard set a tournament record 46-match winning run as he claimed eight straight titles from 2005-2012, before his streak ended in the 2013 final against Novak Djokovic.
Nadal passed a stern test in Dominic Thiem in the third round on Thursday and raised his level yet again when faced with the fourth-seeded Wawrinka, who captured his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown in Monte-Carlo in 2014 (d. Federer).
The Spaniard improved to a 15-3 record over Wawrinka as he sped to victory in 68 minutes. Nadal broke serve four times and won 73 per cent of his service points as he notched his 56th victory in Monte-Carlo.
Nadal is bidding to win his first title of the season and draw level with Djokovic by capturing his 28th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown. The left-hander will play his fifth semi-final of the season; he went on to finish runner-up in Doha (l. to Djokovic).
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