Rafael Nadal loves clay.
The top-ranked Spaniard cruised into the Barcelona Open semifinals after dispatching Gael Monfils 6-2, 6-2, Friday for his sixth win at the clay-court tournament where he has a 28-1 record.
Nadal needed only 75 minutes to get past the ninth-ranked Frenchman, who was broken four times.
"The truth is it was a pretty complete game," said Nadal. "I'm very happy since this is a matchup between two of the best players in the world and to win 6-2, 6-2, makes me very happy."
Nadal rallied from 40-0 down in the third game to convert his first break point with a forehand winner, with Monfils pushed deep behind the baseline.
Nadal extended his lead to 4-1 when Monfils netted a backhand to be broken again, and Nadal held serve to take the first set.
The second set was a near replica of the first as Nadal broke Monfils in the third and fifth games again.
Monfils hit wide to trail 2-1 and sent a forehand long after a net exchange to be broken for the fourth time. Nadal held serve to close out the match and set up a match with either fellow Spaniard Feliciano López or Ivan Dodig of Croatia.
"This is super positive," said Nadal, the recent Monte Carlos Masters champion who improved to 30-0 on clay since 2010. "But there's still much to achieve."
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.