Monte-Carlo Semifinals Results: Nadal Pushed by Murray, but Spaniard Prevails in Three
It would have been naive to believe that Nadal wasn't going to turn it back on in the third set and eventually put the match back onto his terms (eventually winning it 6-4, 2-6, 6-1). But for a moment there in the second set of the Monte-Carlo Masters semis, it was Andy Murray who looked like the premier player in the world on clay, not Rafa.
Murray majestically mixed up his shots and speeds, keeping Nadal in the dark for the majority of the second set. The Scot consistently attacked Nadal's backhand, setting up the kill shots to the Spaniards ad-side. Murray glided around the court, getting to balls that only he and a handful of other players on the ATP tour possess the quickness to track down. And it all culminated in one of the best sets played against Nadal on the clay in many many matches.
But for about the thousandth match in a row -- at least it seems that way, doesn't it? -- Nadal once again prevailed, a win that sends him on to the finals of Monte-Carlo to defend his long-standing crown.
In the finals Nadal will take on fellow Spaniard David Ferrer who earlier in the day took out Austrian Jurgen Melzer in a perfunctory two sets 6-3, 6-2. Ferrer -- as it seems most Spanish-born players do -- looked very comfortable in the match, as Melzer was never able to find the groove he used to take out Roger Federer in his previous match.
Tomorrow's match between Nadal and Ferrer will mark the second straight year an all-Spanish final will take place at Monte-Carlo. Nadal has won the tournament six straight years, dating back to 2005 and hasn't lost a match on the clay since losing to Robin Soderling at the French Open in 2009.