Rafael Nadal took another step towards securing a record 10th title in Monte Carlo with a simple 6-3, 6-1 victory over Belgian David Goffin tonight.
The Belgian, who played a stunning match to upset Djokovic in the previous round, looked the better player in the early stages, going up a break . Goffin played with uncharacteristic aggression, hitting his forehand especially crisply.
But serving at 3-2 up, things began to unravel rather quickly for the Belgian after a bad overrule from the umpire appeared to throw him completely off his game. After a competitive first half, Goffin grew increasingly frustrated and his errors began mounting in the face of Nadal’s incredible defense. A poor backhand in the same game even drew a smattering of boos from the crowd.
The match from then on was one-way traffic as Goffin continued to struggle hitting through the court against Nadal’s heavy topspin. At 1-0 in the second set, Goffin conceded a point – and the game – to Nadal when the Spaniard’s serve was wrongly called out, an admirable display of sportsmanship given the circumstances. But after 1 hour and 53 minutes, Goffin was bundled out of the tournament by a trademark Rafael Nadal forehand down-the-line. Goffin did not shake hands with the umpire.
Nadal will next face fellow Spaniard and Andy Murray’s conqueror Albert Ramos-Vinolas in his 11th Monte Carlo final. Nadal has a 2-0 career head-to-head lead against his opponent, with both meetings coming on clay in straight sets. Ramos-Vinolas has played a fantastic tournament, but the King of Clay remains heavy favorite to claim a 10th crown in Monte Carlo. Should he prevail, he will surpass Argentinian Guillermo Vilas’ record 49 career titles on clay and become the first man to win a masters 1000 title 10 times.