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Published: Sun, April 22, 2018
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

Nishikori fights back to beat Zverev and set up final against Nadal

Nishikori fights back to beat Zverev and set up final against Nadal

Rafael Nadal mastery on clay courts continued with a Monte Carlo Masters semi-final win over Grigor Dimitrov on Saturday.

"Being honest, I have to recognise that".

Nadal started as if he knew Thiem was a potential threat, holding to love before breaking the 24-year-old at the first time of asking.

Nadal has dominated in Monte Carlo.

However, a let up in his energy at the business end of the set cost Dimitrov dearly, Nadal taking advantage to break - another pinpoint forehand sealing a 1-0 lead.

The way he dismantled Thiem, it appears little can stop him from doing so.

Nadal won 6-4 6-1 against Dimitrov, meaning he has won a quarter-final and semi-final in consecutive days for the loss of just seven games.

Each player saved two break points in their first service games of the decider before Nishikori steadied himself to convert a match point in the 10th game and book a place in the final.

Interesting starts for (8) Bautista Agut vs. the Karlovic/Robredo victor, (7) Schwartzman vs. the rising Tsitsipas, the back-from-injury (3) Thiem vs. Sousa, (11) Mannarino vs. the veteran Cuevas, and (2) Dimitrov vs. the Kohlschreiber/Simon victor...

"Yes, for sure he's the favourite".

While errors crept into the fourth seed's game, there were no such problems for Nadal as he coasted into Sunday's final - getting there by winning a record 34th successive set on clay.

Having got through this, Zverev now faces Kei Nishikori in the second semi-final today, with the Japanese player - in all truth - deserving to oust our outright selection, Marin Cilic. Rafa played well, I didn't.

MONACO (AP) - Rafael Nadal's priority after reaching his 12th Monte Carlo Masters final was to whip out his phone and frantically text coach Carlos Moya.

Nadal recently returned from a right hip injury, which forced him to retire during the Australian Open quarterfinals.

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