Spain’s Rafael Nadal is on course to win the Monte Carlo Masters tennis tournament in Monaco a record 11th time and retain his world number one ranking.
Nadal produced a dominant performance to beat fifth seed Dominic Thiem of Austria 6-love, 6-2 to advance to the semi-final of the clay court tournament.
Fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria beat Belgium’s David Goffin 6-4 7-6 to also advance.
Nadal broke Thiem in the second game of the opening set when the Austrian netted a forehand to take a lead.
Thiem didn’t show any resistance in the opening set with Nadal breaking him again in the fourth game for a four.
The first set was over in just over half an hour with Nadal breaking Thiem for the third time to win with six.
The second set, just like the first, was a show of power and athleticism by Nadal as he broke Thiem in the second game and raced to a three.
Thiem looked to have found his rhythm, winning his service game from the fourth game.
But it was too little too late as the World number one broke him for the fifth time in the match in the eighth game to seal the win.
In another quarterfinal clash, Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov beat Belgium’s David Goffin. The match went with serve until the fifth game when Dimitrov broke Goffin in the sixth to take a 4-2 lead.
Dimitrov squandered two set points in the tenth game before breaking Goffin again to go one-set up.
Goffin had a better start in the second set breaking Dimitrov in the first game when his forehand return went long.
The six seeded Belgian looked on course to level the match after winning the next three games to take a four lead.
But Dimitrov staged a fightback, breaking the Belgian in the eighth and tenth games to level the set five all.
The 26-year old Dimitrov won a 30-stroke rally in the deciding tie-break to seal victory.