Nadal outplays Ferrero

Monte Carlo, April 24:

Triple champion Rafael Nadal moved closer to a historic fourth consecutive Monte Carlo Masters title on Thursday when he beat Spanish compatriot Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-4, 6-1 to book a quarter-final place.

Nadal recorded his sixth career win over Ferrero and will now face another Spaniard, fifth seed David Ferrer, for a place in the semi-finals. The 21-year-old Nadal took his record at the Monte Carlo Country Club to 21 wins in 22 matches with his only defeat coming against Argentina’s Guillermo Coria back in 2003.

His title last year took him level with Ilie Nastase’s three consecutive wins from 1971-1973. Nadal broke in the fourth game of the first set to lead 3-1 before the gritty Ferrero hit back in the seventh game.

But Nadal wrapped up the opener with a vicious, deep forehand on his fourth set point. Nadal was ahead at 2-0 in the second set with a punishing forehand return of a weak Ferrero

second service and that soon became 4-0 with a sweet drop shot. The duo then exchanged breaks which left Nadal with a 5-1 lead which was converted into victory courtesy of a smooth forehand pass.

Ferrer reached quarter-final beating Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic 6-4, 6-0. Ferrer’s compatriot Nicolas Almagro was unable to join him when he lost to Russia’s Igor Andreev. Andreev won 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 but needed seven match points to secure his place in the last eight.