Masters Minute: Monte Carlo, April 20
Nadal and his shadow celebrate his 7-5, 6-4 quarterfinal victory over Wawrinka; it was the seven-time champion's 40th consecutive win in Monte Carlo, with his last loss coming to Guillermo Coria in the third round of the 2003 tournament.
|(1) Djokovic d. Haase, 6-4, 6-2||—Dig beneath the surface of this routine scoreline and you'll find Djokovic, who is coping with the passing of his grandfather Vladimir on Thursday, surrendered serve four times. But the top seed ravaged Haase's second serve, winning 17 of 24 points played on it to break seven times and reach the Monte Carlo semifinals for the fourth time.|
|(2) Nadal d. Wawrinka, 7-5, 6-4||—Hannah Wilks' Racquet Reaction|
|(6) Berdych d. (3) Murray, 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-3||—It's not a surprise the flat-hitting Czech won—he is 5-0 on clay this season—but it is rather eye-opening how imposing he was on serve: Berdych faced only one break point and overwhelmed one of the world's best returners with his first serve. Three straight breaks started the third set and Berdych never looked back, raising his record against Murray to 4-2 and reaching the Monte Carlo semifinals for the first time since 2007.|
|(9) Simon d. (5) Tsonga, 7-5, 6-4||—Peter Bodo's Racquet Reaction|
Saturday's Order of Play
|(1) Djokovic v. (6) Berdych [Court Central]||—Djokovic has dominated this match-up, winning eight of their nine meetings, but this marks their first meeting on clay, where Berdych has been brilliant thus far. If Berdych serves as well as he did in beating Murray today, he has a shot to beat Djokovic for the first time since the 2010 Wimbledon semifinals. Djokovic must be emotionally drained, but he's been able to take Berdych's flat shots early and use the bigger man's pace against him in the past. Djokovic has more margin on all his shots, moves better, and has mastered Berdych in the past. The Pick: Djokovic|
|(2) Nadal v. (9) Simon [Court Central]||—The first meeting on clay between the pair naturally favors the king of clay. Nadal hits with heavier topspin and has forced Simon to defend for long stretches in the past, winning four of their prior five encounters. Nadal has won 40 straight matches in Monte Carlo, a streak that doesn't look likely to end on Saturday. The Pick: Nadal|
7:00 am - 12:00 pm: Monte Carlo (M), Semifinals (Tennis Channel, Live)
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm: Fed Cup (W), UKR vs. UKA, Rubbers 1 & 2 (Tennis Channel, Delay)
4:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Fed Cup (W), CZE vs. ITA, Rubbers 1 & 2 (Tennis Channel, Delay)
8:00 pm - 3:30 am: Monte Carlo (M), Semifinals (Tennis Channel, Live)
Before he won 40 matches in a row at Monte Carlo, Rafa won back-to-back battles against Karol Kucera and Albert Costa. After beating the French Open champion, Nadal would lose his next match to Coria. Then, Nadal begin building his currently streak, victory by victory.