Rafa Nadal is on his surface in Monte-Carlo. And the powerful Spaniard who is trying to avoid a Tiger Woods-like finish to his dominant years looks again to be performing near the top of his game. Nadal pounded his way into the semifinals with a straight set victory over Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland, who was seeded #4. (Nadal is seeded fifth.)
In a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Wawrinka, Nadal claimed his first victory against a truly top competitor, having defeated Austrian Dominic Thiem in a difficult match to get to the quarterfinal. Wawrinka won the 2014 Monte-Carlo Masters, defeating Roger Federer. Nadal won eight straight Monte-Carlo Masters beginning in 2005. He’ll play Andy Murray in the semifinals.