Rafael Nadal must not make Novak Djokovic mistakes against Dominic Thiem

Florence Fletcher
April 21, 2018

Murray, who's rehabbing from surgery on his right hip, and Nadal, who knows the rehab process well, chatted on the phone a couple of weeks ago, Nadal said on Friday after his Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters quarter-final win against Dominic Thiem.

The Spaniard is now just two wins away from a record 31st Masters title, after winning 32 consecutive sets on clay.

"I think I played a great match - the best of the tournament", said Nadal afterwards. Nadal and Murray also talked in Melbourne in January, when the Scot had planned on competing at the Australian Open but later aborted that idea and underwent surgery. To be precise, in Rome past year, as an added bonus, he defeated Novak Djokovic as well.

Nadal will face Grigor Dimitrov in his 13th Monte Carlo semi-final on Saturday, but the Bulgarian will need a massive improvement from his win over David Goffin if he's to stand a chance of claiming a second career victory against the 10-time champion. "It is hard to play better than today".

Nishikori, feeling his way back into tennis after a right wrist injury deprived him of playing in the last two majors, served for the match at 5-4 in the second set.

"I felt like I could have done things a bit better, especially at the beginning of the second set", said Dimitrov.

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'I always expect the best from myself', Dimitrov stated.

The first few games of the second set went with serve, but Thiem broke for a 3-2 lead on his third break point of the game when Djokovic scooped a wayward backhand off target.

Belgian sixth seed David Goffin held off a late fightback from Roberto Bautista Agut to reach the last eight with a 6-4, 7-5 win, in a match that saw the Spaniard accidentally hit a ball boy with the ball.

The 12-time Grand Slam champion saved three set points at 5-2 down in the first, breaking back to level at 5-5 and taking the tie-break with his first set point.

Nishikori, who lost his only Grand Slam final to Cilic at the 2014 US Open, moves into a last-four clash with either Richard Gasquet or Alexander Zverev.

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