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
''Let's hit some forehands as soon as posible'' said Rafa Nadal after his Semi Final win in straight sets 6-4 6-1 over Dimitrov. What a sportsman.#Nadal #VamosRafa #MonteCarloRolexMasters pic.twitter.com/dgbZP1Qug4
— sLlorca (@sLlorcaTennis) April 21, 2018
Will it’s quite odd because Dimitrov is 7-1 vs Top 10 players in SF’s but is 1-10 vs Nadal overall. I reckon Rafa will destroy Dimitrov’s backhand and might even give him a breadstick/a bagel
— Olly (@Olly_Paton_ATP) April 21, 2018
Rafa Nadal defs Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-1 and reaches a record 12th Final at the Monte Carlo Masters. #KingOfClay ? ?
— RafaNadalFANS (@RafaNadalFANS) April 21, 2018
How in the ? do you beat #Nadal on clay at the #MonteCarloMasters?
Look at the pic below. Look how far back he stands to return serve!
How should #Dimitrov counter that?
How about an underarm serve? ?
My analysis here –> https://t.co/ROYB7kZaRW pic.twitter.com/WeynJqa4Ne
— Craig O'Shannessy (@BrainGameTennis) April 21, 2018
Dimitrov is good but it's very clear Nadal's consistency on the dirt can't be beaten by a single hander, at least not by anyone on the tour now! Only guys who at their very best could possibly challenge Rafa on clay would be Zverev and Chung! @ROLEXMCMASTERS @CoffeeBreakTens
— Harris (@LegSpinner16) April 21, 2018
Rafael Nadal one win away from his 11th Monte Carlo title. 6-4 6-1 over Grigor Dimitrov who played well in the first set but faded badly in the second.
— Gboyega (@mcgboye1) April 21, 2018
— Mert Ertunga (@MertovsTDesk) April 21, 2018
— Mikhail (@FedexMahindra18) April 21, 2018
— Melvin (@MTKigz) April 21, 2018
— #RF20 (@Imp_Swaroop) April 21, 2018
— Stijn Lieshout (@stijnlieshout) April 21, 2018
Nadal in the final after a facile win over Dimitrov #MonteCarloRolexMasters
— Vinay RKM (@vinzalwayz) April 21, 2018
That was a great set, but a terrible game from Dimitrov. Two doubles and a FH UE at *4-5 down…
Nadal just can't lose 5 games in a set on clay
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) April 21, 2018
— Shahid Raz (@ViralPearl) April 21, 2018
Rafa Nadal is at a different level on clay, brushes aside Dimitrov's Challenge. Another Monte Carlo title in the offing.
— Shyam Sundar (@Shyamjourno) April 21, 2018
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.