Nadal swats aside Wawrinka with Murray waiting


Rafael Nadal eased past Stan Wawrinka in straight sets to set up a mouth-watering Monte Carlo Masters semi-final clash with Andy Murray.

Having won the last of his eight-consecutive titles in Monaco four years ago, Nadal is yet to lose a set this week and had few concerns as Wawrinka was beaten 6-1 6-4.

The 'King of Clay' had to live up to that reputation as Wawrinka pushed him close in the second set, but - having recovered from a defeat the last time they met on dirt courts - Nadal looks well-placed to also get revenge on Murray, who won the pair's previous meeting on clay in Madrid last year.

Wawrinka made 15 unforced errors as the first set quickly escaped his grasp, the French Open champion demolishing his racket before going 4-1 down, before complaining at crowd noises as he half-heartedly wilted.

More poor choices from Wawrinka, allowing Nadal to score a reflex winner at the net with the pass shot wide open, seemed to put a dominant scoreline in prospect and, though he broke back immediately, a ninth game which saw the Swiss' usually reliable backhand falter opened things up for Nadal.

A serial winner on these Monaco courts, two shows of brutish power from Nadal left Wawrinka helpless and moved the former's head-to-head record against his opponent to 15-3.

Nadal now boasts a 56-4 record in the tournament ahead of his meeting with Murray, who will be well-rested after thrashing a half-paced Milos Raonic 6-2 6-0 earlier in the day.