Rafael Nadal has put on an impressive performance against a sharp Gilles Simon to book a place in the Monte Carlo finals for a chance to win his eighth consecutive title in the principality. Nadal beat his French opponent 6-3, 6-4.
Rafa came into this tournament under an injury cloud but with an impressive 234 wins and 18 losses in his clay court career. Simon came in under the radar.
Both players started playing entertaining tennis from the beginning of the match with Simon producing blinding winners that even beat Nadal’s forehand for power, placement and pace.
In the seventh game Simon had two break point chances and forced Nadal to dig deep to find a way out of trouble as the Frenchman took balls on the rise and looked incredibly sharp.
As the wind picked up and Gilles struggled to find his opening form Rafa continued his aggressive play, actively seeking his 8th Monte Carlo title and another chance to break the Djokovic curse.
Again Rafa drew first blood, taking a 2-1 lead, he looked to finally be on the hunt again for scalps on clay rather than looking passive and somewhat jaded like he has for much of the last 18 months.
Nadal showed his touch and power as he fended off break back chances for Gilles before missing a chance for the double break of serve.
Rafa’s girlfriend of 7 years, Xisca Perello, arrived to watch the semi finals and will stay for his eighth consecutive final against Novak Djokovic.