Monte Carlo Masters: Nadal to take on Thiem in quarters
Monaco [France], April 20 : World number one Rafael Nadal will aim to cement his spot in the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters when he squares off with Austria's Dominic Thiem in the last-eight clash here on Friday.The Spanish tennis maestro had earlier stormed into the quarter-finals of the tournament following a comfortable 6-3, 6-2 win over Karen Khachanov of Russia in a one-sided last-16 clash of the men's singles event that lasted one hour and 18 minutes.
It should be noted that 16-time Grand Slam champion Nadal is bidding for an 11th Monte Carlo title and a record 31st Masters title.
Thiem, on the other hand, bounced back from a set down to register a 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-3 win over Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic and book his place in the last-eight of the tournament.
While Nadal has reached the quarterfinals or better in Monte Carlo for 14 years in a row, Thiem is through to the quarterfinals of the tournament for the first time in his career.
Heading to the semi-final clash, Nadal leads Thiem in their head-to-head by 5-2. Thiem's two victories against Nadal came in the semifinals of Buenos Aires in 2016 and the quarterfinals of Rome in 2017.
Nadal, on the other hand, clinched their most recent meeting during the semi-finals of the French Open in 2017.
In another quarter-final clash, Japan's Kei Nishikori will also look to seal last-four spot when he locks horns with Croatia's Marin Cilic later today.