Nadal’s win preserved his place at the top of the world rankings. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
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Rafael Nadal crushed fifth seed Dominic Thiem 6-0, 6-2 to romp into the Monte Carlo Masters semifinals Friday as he stepped up his bid for an 11th title in style.Nadal will face Grigor Dimitrov in his 13th Monte Carlo semifinal Saturday, but the Bulgarian will need to show a massive improvement from his win over David Goffin if he's to stand a chance of claiming a second career victory against the 10-time champion.Nadal started as if he knew Thiem was a potential threat, holding to love before breaking the 24-year-old at the first time of asking.Thiem was not serving at the same level he managed in his win over two-time champion Novak Djokovic Thursday, and although he staved off five break points in game four, he dumped a forehand into the net to gift Nadal a 4-0 lead.It was the 12th time Nadal had whitewashed a set against a top-10 player, and he got the second set underway with another love hold.
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