Match report

Mikhail Kukushkin ©
3rd round
4/19/12 1 2 Tot
ru  Mikhail Kukushkin 1 1 0
es  Rafael Nadal 6 6 2
Rafael Nadal ©
  • Nadal surges into Monte-Carlo quarterfinals

    4/19/12 11:41 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Rafael Nadal is into the last eight in Monte Carlo after easing past Mikhail Kukushkin in straight sets on Thursday. Nadal will go up against Stanislas Wawrinka for a spot in the semifinals.

    Rafael Nadal improved to 41-1 lifetime at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters with a 6-1, 6-1 blowout of Mikhail Kukushkin on Thursday evening. Nadal rolled into the quarterfinals after exactly one hour of play.

    The seven-time champion wasted no time in jumping out to a commanding advantage. He broke Kukushkin at love to open the match en route to 4-0 in the first set. Nadal lost only 11 total points in the opener, including a mere two on his own serve.

    After breaking again at 5-1, the world No. 2 was similarly dominant in the second. Kukushkin held for 1-1, but the Kazakh qualifier went away quietly after that. Nadal won the last five games of the match as he surrendered just four service points in all of set two.

    "I played much better than yesterday, in my opinion," said Nadal, who beat Jarkko Nieminen 6-4, 6-3 in round two. "More aggressive, more solid. My serve was much better. The return, too. In general today I was very happy with how I played."

    The No. 2 seed has won 39 consecutive matches at the tournament as he heads into a quarterfinal encounter with Stanislas Wawrinka. Wawrinka dismissed Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 6-3 in the third round.

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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