Monte Carlo: Rafael Nadal beat fourth-seeded Andy Murray 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) on Saturday to reach the final of the Monte Carlo Masters. Nadal next meets the third-seeded Novak Djokovic in Sundays final. The Serbian player rallied from a set down to beat Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.
Nadal extended his winning streak at Monte Carlo to 26 matches and stayed on course for a fifth straight title. The top-ranked Spaniard has not dropped a set at the tournament since the 2006 final against Roger Federer.
Meanwhile, Indian challenge ended as both Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi fell by the wayside at different stages of the ATP event along with their respective partners.
Paes and Czech Lukas Dlouhy, seeded third, fought brilliantly but could not tame the top seeded American pair of Mike and Bob Bryan, losing 7-6 (7-3), 3-6, 12-14 in the semi-final. Earlier, fourth seeds Bhupathi and his Bahamian partner Mark Knowles went down fighting against the Serbian duo of Novak Djokovic and Viktor Troicki 4-6, 6-4, 10-12 in the quarter finals.
Murray rallied from 5-2 down in the second set Saturday to push Nadal to play his best tennis after cruising in the first set. Murray was pushed three metres behind the baseline at times, but this defensive strategy afforded him little opportunity to attack Nadal in the opening set.
He began the second more aggressively and held his serve at love with a perfect drop shot at 30-0 and a backhand winner on his next point. The match appeared wrapped up for Nadal at 5-2, but Murray roared back with some phenomenal winners that not even the speedy Nadal could chase down.