Nadal rolls in Tokyo

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 11:59 AM ET

TOKYO -- Rafael Nadal rolled into the semifinals at the Japan Open on Friday, while France's Gael Monfils knocked off American Andy Roddick in a thrilling three-set quarterfinal match.

The top-seeded Nadal had little trouble in a 6-4, 6-1 rout of Russia's Dmitry Tursunov and will next play Serbia's Viktor Troicki, who needed three sets to dispose of Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

Troicki's 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 win on Friday denied Nadal a chance to avenge his loss to Garcia-Lopez in last week's Thailand Open semifinals. Garcia-Lopez beat his fellow Spaniard and went on capture the title in Bangkok, but on Friday was unable to continue his seven-match winning streak.

For Troicki, it will be his third semifinal of 2010. He lost to Nadal in the semis at the season-opening Qatar Open and fell to Dennis Istomin in the New Haven semifinals the week before the U.S. Open. He's reached an ATP final just twice -- two years ago in Washington, DC and last year in Bangkok.

Nadal, the world's top-ranked player and reigning French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open champ, will be trying to advance to his eighth final of 2010. He has already won six times, at Monte Carlo, Rome and Madrid in addition to his three Grand Slam titles, and lost to Nikolay Davydenko in the final at the Qatar Open.

Troicki has never beaten Nadal in three previous meetings.

Monfils, meanwhile, outlasted the second-seeded Roddick, 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 7-6 (8-6) on Friday. The Frenchman failed to convert any of his 10 break-point chances, but won the big points in both tiebreakers to advance to his fourth semifinal of 2010.

"It was a great match, it was fun, the type of match you want to play," said Monfils. "We both played great tennis. We have always had tough matches."

Roddick converted a break point to win the second set and had a match point at 6-5 in the third-set tiebreaker after saving three match points himself earlier in the set. Monfils, however, came through with back-to-back aces and followed with the winning point to improve to 5-3 lifetime against Roddick. It was Roddick's first tournament since being eliminated in the second round at the U.S. Open.

"You never want to lose, but it was one of the best matches I have played since the spring," said Roddick. "I feel more comfortable leaving this week than I did coming in."

Monfils also reached the semifinal round in Brisbane and South Africa early in the year and made it to the final in July in Stuttgart, where he lost to Albert Montanes. He is in the semifinals of this event for the second straight year, losing to eventual champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga last year.

Up next for Monfils will be Czech Radek Stepanek, who advanced in a walkover against Jarkko Nieminen. The veteran Finn was unable to play Friday because of a fever. Stepanek also won his second-round match against Marco Chiudinelli when the Swiss native retired in the third set with a lower back injury.

Stepanek beat Monfils in the Brisbane semifinals back in January and followed with a loss to Roddick in the title match. After the setback to Roddick, however, Stepanek went on to lose in the first or second round of seven straight events before reaching the quarterfinals in New Haven.


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