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Nadal to face Murray in Monte Carlo semis, Tsonga stuns Federer

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The dethroned 'King of Clay' Rafael Nadal will continue his quest to reclaim his throne, and he faces the imposing figure of world no.2 Andy Murray in his path next as the 8-time Monte Carlo Masters winner advanced to the semi-finals of the competition with a convincing 6-1, 6-4 win against reigning French Open Champion Stan Wawrinka.

Nadal, looking very much at home at the start of the European summer, needed just 68 minutes to topple Wawrinka, who had beaten the Spaniard just thrice in 17 prior career meetings.

Nadal, won eight straight titles in Monte Carlo between 2005 and 2012, and won 46 matches in a row before he ran into Novak Djokovic in the 2013 Final. Djokovic, won the title again last year, but was surprisingly dumped out of the tournament this week by 22 year old Czech Jiri Vesely in the second round.

If Nadal's win against Wawrinka was impressive, then his opponent tomorrow, Andy Murray, was equally brutal, crushing the challenge of Canadian Milos Raonic 6-2, 6-0, needing a couple of minutes fewer than Nadal.

The other semi-final will be an all-French affair with 8th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga taking on 13th seed Gael Monfils. Tsonga came back from a set down to beat third seed Roger Federer, 3-6, 6-2, 7-5. Quite amazingly, Federer has never won the title at Monte Carlo, finishing runner-up on 4 occasions, and that fact won't change this year as the Swiss legend went down in a close contest.

Federer was very much on top early in the match, breaking the Tsonga serve thrice in the first set. Tsonga returned the favour in the second, also breaking thrice to level the match. Both men picked up their games in the decider and there were no breaks till the 11th game when Tsonga struck before closing out the match 7-5 in the third.

He will relish the prospect of taking on his compatriot, who rebounded from a 1 and 3 record against Marcel Granollers to beat the Lucky Loser rather easily today, 6-2, 6-4.

Singles - Quarter-finals

[2] A. Murray (GBR) d [10] M. Raonic (CAN) 62 60

[8] J. Tsonga (FRA) d [3] R. Federer (SUI) 36 62 75

[5] R. Nadal (ESP) d [4] S. Wawrinka (SUI) 61 64

[13] G. Monfils (FRA) d [LL] M. Granollers (ESP) 62 64

Doubles - Quarter-finals

[2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) d T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) 64 64

[3] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) d D. Inglot (GBR) / A. Murray (GBR) 64 36 12-10

[4] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) d [6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) 62 63

J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) d H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) 64 64