I am slowly improving on grass, says Rafael Nadal
Spaniard Rafael Nadal thrilled after straight sets win over France’s Gael Monfils to enter Stuttgart final
Stuttgart: Rafael Nadal moved into the position to become a dual-surface champion at the Stuttgart Open on Saturday with his 6-3, 6-4 grass-court semi-final defeat of Gael Monfils.
Victory in less than 90 minutes on the newly laid grass courts of the pre-Wimbledon event paved a path for Nadal to lift his third in Stuttgart after winning in 2005 and 2007 when the event was played on clay.
But in 2012, officials and orgnanisers at the Weissenhof club made the decision to work with the ATP to switch over to grass as part of an expanded three-week Wimbledon run-up which began this week.
Nadal owns two Wimbledon crowns and also won at Queen’s in his grass glory year of 2008. The 29-year-old will be bidding for the 66th trophy of his career but only second this season.
Nadal came through over Monfils on the first of two match points as the French fourth seed sailed a forehand over the baseline.
Unable to find an ace in the contest, Nadal however made no double-faults and saved all four of the break points he faced as he beat Monfils for the 11h time in 13 meetings.
The win was effortless in contrast to the struggles Nadal went through in his first two matches this week, spending a combined five hours on court to win six sets.
“I’m very happy with this performance,” said the Spaniard. “I’m slowly improving on grass. It would be fantastic to win on grass here, but I can only focus on the final and try to play my best.”
Troicki stuns Cilic
Nadal will play Serbia’s Viktor Troicki in the final after the eighth seed saw off injured second seed Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-7, 6-2.