Nadal routs Thiem to reach Monte Carlo Masters semifinals

MONACO (AP) — Rafael Nadal won nine straight games to open his match against Dominic Thiem, quickly advancing to the semifinals of the Monte Carlo Masters with a 6-0, 6-2 victory on Friday.

The top-ranked Spaniard is on course for a record-extending 11th Monte Carlo title.

Thiem, an Austrian who is seeded fifth and beat Nadal twice before on clay, earned sympathetic cheers from the crowd when he finally won a game in the second set.

Nadal will next face Grigor Dimitrov. The fourth-seeded Bulgarian beat No. 6 David Goffin 6-4, 7-6 (5) in an error-strewn match.

Goffin led 4-0 in the second set but the Belgian missed three set points at 5-4.

Later Friday, second-seeded Marin Cilic was to play Kei Nishikori and No. 3 Alexander Zverev was facing Richard Gasquet.