Rafael Nadal once again proved his superiority on clay courts with a Monte Carlo Masters semi-final win over Grigor Dimitrov.
Nadal brushed aside Dimitrov with a 6-4 6-1 victory. The 16-time Grand Slam champion, Nadal had it easy in the beginning when he won the first three games. But fourth seed Dimitrov was not going down without a fight. He broke back to make it 3-3.But then it seemed as if Dimitrov expended much of his energy in the opening set. It didn’t take long for Nadal to romp into a 5-0 lead in the second set. Very soon, victory in his 14th Monte Carlo semi-final was inevitable.
Earlier he demolished Dominic Thiem 6-0, 6-2 to enter the semifinals. He will next be facing Kei Nishikori, who fought a tough 3 set battle against Zverev to set up a clash with the Spaniard in the finals. Nadal leads the head to head against Nishikori by 9-2.
As a result of the victory, he has extended his run of consecutive sets won on clay to 34.
The world number 1 needs to win a third consecutive title in Sunday’s final if he is to retain his status as world No 1. Meanwhile, his long-time rival Roger Federer, who is resting out the clay court season, will be hoping to take over the top spot.
If he wins in Sunday’s final, it will be his 11th Monte Carlo Masters in the past 14 years of contention.
Here is how social media reacted to the match
Nadal looked rusty in the beginning of the tournament, but seems to have gotten his form back on track. This is his first ATP Masters since the Australian Open, where he suffered a hip injury. He’ll definitely be looking to retain this dominance over the course of the clay court season, considering he has over 4000 points to defend.