Nadal Fends Off Tough Challenge from Bulgaria's Dimitrov
Rafael Nadal survived a second-set fightback from Bulgarian rising star Grigor Dimitrov to reach the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters.
Nadal, seeking a ninth consecutive title at the event, looked in trouble as Dimitrov matched the world number five blow-for-blow.
However, the Spaniard’s consistency eventually prevailed to secure a 6-2 2-6 6-4 victory.
Despite the defeat, media have praised the young Bulgarian’s inspiring performance.
“When the Bulgarian goes on to win multiple grand slam titles - as he surely will do - this match might just prove his launchpad despite the loss,” ESPN wrote after the clash.
“Dimitrov's talent has been well known for a while, but the manner in which he imposed himself on Nadal - on Nadal's own adopted court - was breathtaking.”
Nadal will play Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the last-four after the French No. 6 seed beat Andy Murray's conqueror Stanislas Wawrinka 2-6 6-3 6-4.