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Nadal to face Nishikori in Monte Carlo Masters final

media Kei Nishikori celebrates winning his semi-final match against Alexander Zverev. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

World number one Rafael Nadal reached his 12th Monte Carlo Masters finals after a thumping 6-4, 6-1 win over Grigor Dimitrov. Nadal will face Kei Nishikori who came back from a set down to beat Alexander Zverev in the other semifinal.

The Spaniard is the clear favourite to win his 11th title in Monaco considering that he has lost just 16 games in four matches in the tournament.

A win will not only help Nadal retain the top world ranking ahead of Roger Federer but also set a new record (31) for winning the most number of Masters titles.

The first set against of the Nadal-Dimitrov was a tight affair. Though Nadal raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set, Dimitrov fought back to level the score 3-3. However, Nadal broke Dimitrov again to wrap up the set in 65 minutes.

Nadal breezed through the second set breaking Dimitrov twice to seal the win.

The 36th ranked Nishikori reached his fourth Masters final after defeating third seeded Zverev 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 and reach his first Masters final since Toronto in 2016.

Australia back into Fed Cup World Group

Australia returned to the World Group of the Fed Cup after beating the Netherlands 4-1. Daria Gavrilova beat Quirine Lemoine 6-3, 6-2 in the fourth singles to give Australia the winning lead.

Earlier, Australia’s Ashleigh Barty had defeated Lesley Kerkhove 6-4, 6-2 in the third singles rubber.

Gavrilova teamed with Destanee Aiava to win the fifth doubles rubber, 6-3, 6-2.

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