Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal beat Diego Schwartzman 6-4 6-4 in the Monte Carlo Masters quarter-final on Friday evening to put himself in pole position to take the crown the 10th time.
Nadal, who was champion from 2005 to 2012 and also the reigning champion of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament played on clay, held off a resilient Schwartzman to win both sets, including four straight games against the Argentine.
As the Spaniard continues in his quest for his 10th title of the event, he will now face David Goffin in the semi-finals after the Belgian sprung a surprise victory over Novak Djokovic earlier on Friday.
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The two-time winner, Djokovic, came up against a player in simply splendid form and crashed out after suffering a first defeat to the Belgian, who won 6-2 3-6 7-5.
The world No. 2 has endured a torturous year to date, crashing out of the Australian Open in the second round, while also failing to go beyond the quarterfinals at Acapulco and Indian Wells before an elbow injury ruled him out of the Miami Open.
Ultimately, with other big names like Sir Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka also out of the competition, Rafael Nadal looks the major favourite to go all the way, particularly with his record on clay.
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