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Nadal crushes Monfils to reach semis

sports Updated: Apr 22, 2011 23:19 IST

Reuters
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World number one Rafael Nadal crushed Gael Monfils of France 6-2 6-2 to ease into the Barcelona Open semi-finals on Friday.

The Spaniard is chasing a sixth title in seven years in the Catalan capital and after a rain-delayed start, he raced into a first-set lead with his brutal forehands helping secure two breaks of serve.

Nadal, whose electric yellow shirt contrasted sharply with the dull conditions, broke the seventh seed again early in the second, helped by a wonderful angled drop shot as the two exchanged blows at the net.

"To win 6-2, 6-2 is a very positive result and was much better than I expected. I'm very pleased," Nadal told Spanish television.

"I won in Monte Carlo last week and now to be in the semi-finals in Barcelona is super positive, I couldn't have started the clay season any better. Now I have to keep on working."

Rain permitting, Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer was due to play Austria's Jurgen Melzer and Croatian Ivan Dodig was up against Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.

The last quarter-final of the day will be an all-Spanish clash between Nicolas Almagro and Juan Carlos Ferrero.

Stosur ready
Stuttgart: Australia's Samantha Stosur says she is ready to beat Germany's Julia Goerges -- and the passionate home crowd -- in Saturday's semifinal at Stuttgart's WTA tournament.

The 27-year-old beat second-seed Vera Zvonareva 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) in Thursday's quarter-final to reach the last four and hopes to beat Goerges to reach her first final of the year in her eighth tournament of 2011.

With no play on Friday, because of the public holiday in Germany, fifth-seed Stosur says she will use the day off to rest and practise before bidding to beat Goerges, who will have the Stuttgart crowd behind her.

"I think it's going to be tough, obviously she will have the crowd behind her," Stosur told AFP.

"But the crowd here are fair and they just want to see some good tennis. It will be tough no matter what and I am just looking forward to it."

With a month to go to Roland Garros, where Stosur reached last season's final, the Australian says she is feeling confident and looks to be recapturing her form again in Stuttgart having made last year's final here.