Ferrer ousts Nadal; Djokovic, Federer reach Monte Carlo SFs

The Sports NetworkApril 18, 2014 

Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France (SportsNetwork.com) - David Ferrer stunned eight-time champion Rafael Nadal, while reigning titlist Novak Djokovic and three-time runner-up Roger Federer avoided quarterfinal upsets Friday at the $4 million Monte Carlo Masters tennis event.

The sixth-seeded 2011 Monte Carlo runner-up to Nadal, Ferrer, upset the world No. 1 great 7-6 (7-1), 6-4 on the red clay at Monte Carlo Country Club, where Nadal had won a record eight straight titles before losing to Djokovic in last year's blockbuster finale.

Nadal piled up 44 unforced errors and was broken four times, while Ferrer lost his own serve three times in the 2-hour, 13-minute affair on Day 6.

This marks Nadal's earliest exit here in 11 years.

Ferrer exacted a bit of revenge on Nadal, who prevailed between the two Spanish stars in last year's French Open finale. Ferrer hadn't beaten Nadal on clay since 2004 and is now 6-21 overall against the brilliant left-hander, including wins now in two of their last three matchups.

Nadal, who is the all-time leader with 26 Masters titles, is now 50-3 overall in Monte Carlo, including losses in two of his last four matches here.

The 27-year-old superstar was the Miami Masters runner-up to Djokovic last month and had reached the final in four of his first five tournaments this season.

On Thursday, Nadal became just the 11th man in the Open Era to reach 300 wins on clay.

Meanwhile, the second-seeded former world No. 1 Djokovic needed all three sets to cool of surging Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1. Garcia- Lopez was riding an eight-match winning streak that included a clay title in Casablanca last week.

The red-hot Djokovic has now won his last 14 matches overall, having not lost since succumbing to Federer in a semifinal in Dubai back in February. The two superstars will meet again in Saturday's semifinals.

Djokovic, who's also a two-time runner-up in Monte Carlo in addition to winning last year's edition, recently captured back-to-back Masters titles in Indian Wells and Miami, beating Federer and Nadal, respectively, in marquee finals.

The 26-year-old Djokovic and the reigning French and U.S. Open champion Nadal currently hold all nine Masters titles between them, as well as the ATP World Tour Finals.

The fourth-seeded former world No. 1 Federer fought back to beat ninth-seeded French crowd favorite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 2-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1.

It took Federer 16 break points before he finally broke Tsonga for a 2-0 lead in the third set. The Swiss icon went on to break Tsonga once more before claiming victory in 2 hours, 26 minutes.

Federer was two points away from defeat, trailing 5-6, love-30 at the end of the second set, but four points later he forced a tiebreak, which he won to force what turned out to be a lopsided third.

The 32-year-old Federer, who is now 11-4 lifetime against Tsonga, lost to Nadal in three straight finals here from 2006-08.

Federer is second to Nadal with 21 career Masters shields. He was last month's Indian Wells Masters runner-up to Djokovic.

Djokovic and Federer will meet for a 34th time on the ATP World Tour, with the Swiss great currently holding a 17-16 lifetime edge. They've split two meetings so far this year. Federer is 2-0 versus the Serbian stalwart in Monte Carlo.

Also on Friday, third-seeded Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka took care of eighth-seeded Canadian slugger Milos Raonic 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 to setup a semifinal date with Ferrer at the first clay court Masters event of the year.

"I know I am supposed to be among the favorites, but every time I play a match I am in the state of mind of a challenger who is trying to win an additional match," Wawrinka said.

The 2014 Monte Carlo winner will collect $760,000.

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