Rafael Nadal cruised into the Barcelona Open semi-finals after dispatching Gaël Monfils 6-2, 6-2 yesterday. The top-ranked Spaniard needed only 75 minutes to get past the ninth-ranked Frenchman, who was broken four times.
"The truth is it was a pretty complete game," said Nadal, who is 29-1 at the clay court tournament, which he is bidding to win for a sixth time. "I'm very happy since this is a match-up between two of the best players in the world and to win 6-2, 6-2 makes me very happy."
Nadal rallied from 40-0 down in the third game to convert his first break point with a forehand winner, with Monfils pushed deep behind the baseline. Nadal extended his lead to 4-1 when Monfils netted a backhand to be broken again, and Nadal held serve to take the first set.
The second set was a near replica of the first as Nadal broke Monfils in the third and fifth games again. "This is super positive," said Nadal, the recent Monte Carlo Masters champion who improved to 30-0 on clay since 2010. "But there's still much to achieve."