Barcelona: World number one Rafael Nadal crushed Gael Monfils of France 6-2 6-2 to ease into the Barcelona Open semi-finals on Friday.
The Spaniard is chasing a sixth title in seven years in the Catalan capital and after a rain-delayed start, he raced into a first-set lead with his brutal forehands helping secure two breaks of serve.
Nadal, whose electric yellow shirt contrasted sharply with the dull conditions, broke the seventh seed again early in the second, helped by a wonderful angled drop shot as the two exchanged blows at the net.
"To win 6-2 6-2 is a very positive result and was much better than I expected. I`m very pleased," Nadal told Spanish television.
"I won in Monte Carlo last week and now to be in the semi-finals in Barcelona is super positive, I couldn`t have started the clay season any better. Now I have to keep on working."
Rain permitting, Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer was due to play Austria`s Jurgen Melzer and Croatian Ivan Dodig was up against Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.
The last quarter-final of the day will be an all-Spanish clash between Nicolas Almagro and Juan Carlos Ferrero.