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Sports

AFP
April 19, 2019

Nadal battles past Pella into 14th Monte Carlo semi-final

Sports

AFP
Fri, Apr 19, 2019

MONACO: Rafael Nadal had to battle to reach the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters for the 14th time on Friday as he beat Guido Pella of Argentina 7-6 (7/1), 6-3.

A marathon opening set with eight breaks of serve took one hour, 20 minutes before Nadal won it in a tiebreaker.

He served for victory leading 5-2 in the second set only to drop serve again, but recovered to take the win as Pella double-faulted.

The 11-time champion has not lost at the tournament since a 2015 semi-final defeat against Novak Djokovic and he now stands 71-4 at the event.

The first set featured eight breaks of serve before Nadal won it in a tiebreaker.

He served for the match leading 5-2 in the second only to drop serve again, but recovered to take the win as Pella double-faulted.

"Reaching the semi-final again means a lot to me, I hope this win will help me."

Nadal will face off in the semis against either Italian Fabio Fognini of Borna Coric, the ninth seed.

He will face either Croatia´s Borna Coric or Fabio Fognini of Italy for a place in the final.