Nadal beats Monfils to reach first grasscourt final since 2011 | sports | Hindustan Times
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Nadal beats Monfils to reach first grasscourt final since 2011

sports Updated: Jun 13, 2015 21:46 IST

Rafael Nadal reached his first grasscourt final in four years after beating Gael Monfils 6-3 6-4 in the semi-finals of the Stuttgart International on Saturday.

Nadal will face either Serbia's Viktor Troicki or Croatia's Marin Cilic in the final. His disappointing claycourt campaign ended with a French Open quarter-final defeat to Novak Djokovic.

Nadal, whose last grasscourt final came at Wimbledon in 2011, has dropped to 10th in the ATP rankings after a difficult year in which he has won only a single title.

Nadal is in position to become a dual-surface champion at the Stuttgart Open. Victory in less than 90 minutes on the newly laid grass courts of the pre-Wimbledon event paved a path for Nadal to lift his third in Stuttgart after winning in 2005 and 2007 when the event was played on clay.

But in 2012, officials and orgnanisers at the Weissenhof club made the decision to work with the ATP to switch over to grass as part of an expanded three-week Wimbledon run-up which began this week.

The twice Wimbledon champion looked sharp against Monfils, easing past the Frenchman, who failed to convert any of his four break-point opportunities.

"I think I'm playing well," the Spaniard said on Sky Sports. "It's important for me after losing at Roland Garros to keep going and have the right attitude, the right level of tennis in the next couple of weeks and that is what I am trying.

"I'm practising every day with a very positive attitude, working a lot of hours on court. I had a tough first three months and a half — very bad for me — but I felt that the last month and a half was better.

"I'm enjoying again the tennis and every victory is important and being in the final is great news."

Nadal owns two Wimbledon crowns and also won at Queen's in his grass glory year of 2008. The 29-year-old will be bidding for the 66th trophy of his career but only the second this season.