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Monte Carlo Masters: Nadal defeats Murray to reach finals


04-17-2016 13:34 BJT

The King of Clay, Rafael Nadal was in action against Andy Murray in the semi-finals of Monte Carlo Masters. Nadal came in with a 6-1 record against the Scot on clay and he is certainly no stranger to success here as the Spaniard once won eight straight titles, but the last of those came in 2012 and since then, his once dominant form on the surface has shown vulnerability that Murray was eager to try and exploit. 

And Murray in the near court does just that in the first set as the second seed dominates on his serve and continually pressure Nadal's and this big backhand puts him on course to winning the first set 6-2.

But in the second, Nadal has break point at 3-3. Murray is in control of the rally and a strong backahnd forces a defensive lob from Rafa. But Andy sends his overhead right to the Spaniard who smacks a forehand down the line to convert a critical break and later take the frame 6-4. And people seem rather pleased.

The third set would be all Nadal who is now serving on match point. Murray is way out of the court and has little chance on this forehand as Rafa wins it 6-2. A big victory for the Spaniard who improves to 17-6 head to head against Murray and is back in the final for the first time since 2013.

Murray dominated on his serve - and pressured Nadal's - throughout the first set. It was Murray's serve at 4-2 and world number two won the game with a powerful backhand, taking the opening set with 6-2. 

But the Spaniard, who has been struggling since losing the 2013 final to Novak Djokovic, overcame a sluggish start and find his rythem in the second, breaking Murray at 3-3  with a forehand down the line to regain momentum, then getting the second with 6-4.

Nadal eventually clinched victory on his match point as Murray hit a forehand into the net. He will face 13th seed Gael Monfils of France in the final.

Nadal, 29, has not won a Masters title in two years and a victory on Sunday will earn him a chance to equal Djokovic's record of having 28 Masters titles.

13th seeded Frenchman to face Nadal for the title

The other semi-final is an all French affair between Gael Monfils in the far court and Jo Wilfried Tsonga. Monfils loads up on a forehand and drills it down the line to start a dominant first set that he wins 6-1.

Tsonga would be slightly more competitive in the second. This backhand on the line brings him level on his serve.

But he's quickly in trouble on his next service game as Monfils delivers a superb forehand passing shot and later breaks for a 5-3 lead.

And on match point, Monfils is going to close it out 6-3 when Tsonga goes wide. An impressive victory over his compatriot and he'll take on Nadal for the title.

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