MADRID – A well-rested Rafael Nadal and upstart Julia Goerges cruised into the Madrid Open semifinals on Friday.
The top-ranked Spaniard had little difficulty in dispatching Michael Llodra 6-2, 6-2 after reaching the quarterfinals when Juan Martin Del Potro withdrew from their third-round match on Thursday.
Nadal stretched his latest clay court winning streak to 36 matches. He's attempting to win his second straight Madrid title. Nadal will play either Roger Federer or Robin Soderling on Saturday.
Julia Goerges defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-2 for her 10th straight win to reach the semifinals.
The 27th-ranked German player, who upset top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki in the third round, will play Victoria Azarenka of Belarus for a place in the final on Sunday.
Nadal broke Llodra for the first of four times in the opening game and didn't have to defend a single break point on serve. He won 25 of 30 first-service points.
"I didn't think I would win like that," said Nadal, who defeated Llodra in their only prior meeting on the challenger circuit in 2003. "He's got a powerful serve and dangerous volley, so it's hard to pass him. But in the first set he committed some errors. Winning that first set gave me a lot of confidence."
Goerges had six aces, held every game and broke her Russian opponent three times. Goerges defeated Wozniacki in the Porsche Grand Prix final last month.
The fourth-seeded Azarenka stopped Lucie Safarova 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.
Earlier, Thomaz Bellucci topped Tomas Berdych 7-6 (2), 6-3 to reach the last four. The Brazilian followed up on his third-round victory over Andy Murray.
The 36th-ranked Bellucci was dominate on serve, winning 85 percent of first-serve points. He didn't face a break point against the seventh-ranked Czech.
"The conditions on these courts are perfect for me," Bellucci said. "I like playing here."