Rafael Nadal continues his impeccable run this season after punching his ticket to the finals of the Monte-Carlo Masters with a 6-3, 6-1 demolition of David Goffin of Belgium in their semifinal match Saturday at the Monte-Carlo Country Club in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.

Too good for Goffin

Nadal, who can win his first title of the season after coming up short in the previous four finals, used a series of big groundstrokes to keep Goffin behind the baseline most of the match. The Belgian actually had a chance to take a 4-2 lead in the first set, but Nadal overcame a 3-2, 40/0 deficit by applying more pressure on his opponent.

Nadal went on to win the 22-point sixth game, and the match suddenly became a lot easier for him from that point. The Mallorcan Bull improved his 2017 ATP season record to 23-5, with three of that losses coming against Roger Federer, who will be missing most of the clay-court season to prepare his 35-year old body for the French Open championships.

As for Goffin, his bid to become the first Belgian to play in an ATP Masters 1000 finals might have ended, but his resounding performance throughout the week – highlighted by his quarterfinal upset win over former world’s no.1 Novak Djokovic 6-2, 3-5, 7-5 – made him optimistic about his chance for the remainder of his clay-court campaign.

Nadal vs. Ramos-Vinolas

Waiting for Nadal in the finals of the Monte-Carlo Master is his compatriot Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who defeated Frenchman Lucas Pouille 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 in the semifinals. Sunday’s encounter will be the third time Nadal and Ramos-Vinolas go face-to-face in their tennis career. The 14-time Grand Slam had an easy time in the previous two matches (both at Barcelona Open), but he understands how dangerous Ramos-Vinolas had become this past week.

“He's playing better than ever. He's winning huge matches during the whole week. He's playing with big confidence, with great spirit and fight, overcoming tough situations in every match and playing a high level of tennis all the time,” said Nadal, who is targeting his 10th Monte-Carlo Master and 29th ATP World Masters crown.

After Sunday’s match, Nadal will then shift his attention on another favorite of his, the Barcelona Open. There, the amazing Spaniard will also gun for another record-setting performance by pulling off a ‘La Decima’ on the red-dirt tourney. Despite the withdrawal of last year’s runner-up Kei Nishikori due to a wrist injury, the playing field remains strong with world’s no.1 Andy Murray, Dominic Thiem and Goffin scheduled to participate.

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