Nadal Survives Tomic Test, Joins Monfils In Stuttgart SF
Rafael Nadal through after another three-set fight.
Top seed Nadal needed two hours and 21 minutes to dispatch the Aussie 22 year old, firing 14 aces and denying eight of nine break points faced. The Spaniard needed three match points to claim victory.
Nadal, who reached his first grass-court semi-final since Wimbledon 2011, will duel with Monfils for the 13th time in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry. He leads 10-2, with their most recent encounter coming at the 2014 Australian Open.
Fourth seed Monfils kicked off play in Stuttgart on Friday with a win over home favourite Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Monfils beat the sixth seed 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 to reach the semi-finals, his fifth of the season. The Frenchman fired 17 aces and capitalised on three of his seven break point chances in the one hour, 56-minute match.
In the opening set, Groth delivered 11 aces and won 93 per cent of first serve points, but was unable to maintain the level thereafter, serving only two aces in the second set and failing to save either break point opportunities faced.
The qualifier, currently No. 502 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, took the lone break in the first set and had the Croatian on the ropes before succumbing in the decider.
Cilic only converted on one of six break chances earned in the match, though he did end up winning 116 points to the German’s 108.