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Nadal storms into Monte Carlo semis

media Rafael Nadal beat Dominic Thiem 6-0, 6-2. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Top seed Rafael Nadal crushed fifth seed Dominic Thiem 6-0, 6-2 to storm into the semifinals of Monte Carlo Masters. The Spaniard, who is gunning for his 11th title in the principality, faces Grigor Dimitrov in the penultimate round.

Nadal’s domination was so overwhelming that Thiem didn’t get on the scoreboard until the 10th game.

The Austrian had raised prospects of a tight encounter in the semifinal after beating two-time champion Novak Djokovic on Thursday. However, he wilted under Nadal’s pressure dropping his serve thrice in the first set.

He managed to hold his serve for the first time in the fourth game of the second set. However, by then Nadal was in complete control. The 16-time-Grand Slam winner sealed his win in just 68 minutes.

“Here I think I played great... It has been a great day for me, and a very good result against a very difficult rival,” said Nadal.

The Spaniard is now just two wins away from a record 31st Masters title.

In other quarterfinal matches, Dimitrov beat David Goffin Dimitrov 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) while third seed Alexander Zverev defeated Richard Gasquet 4-6, 6-2, 7-5. Zverev now faces Kei Nishikori who beat second seed Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-7 (1/7), 6-3.

Australia level with Netherlands in Fed Cup

Ashleigh Barty defeated Quirine Lemoine to level Australia’s Fed Cup World Group play-off tie at 1-1 with the Netherlands.

Barty crushed Lemoine 6-0, 6-2 after Samantha Stosur fell 7-5, 7-6 (7/1) to Lesley Kerkhove earlier.

Australia are bidding to return into the World Group for the first time since 2015, while the Netherlands are trying to prolong their three-year stay in the top tier.

The reverse singles will be played on Sunday, with Barty facing Dutch number one Kerkhove, followed by Stosur against Lemoine.


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