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8-time champion Rafael Nadal beats Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 7-6 (3) to reach Monte Carlo final

  • 518cae7949d7950d2f0f6a7067009eac.jpg

    Spain's Rafael Nadal plays a return to France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga during their semifinal match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters tournament in Monaco, Saturday, April 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)The Associated Press

  • 166dee5d49e1950d2f0f6a706700fff2.jpg

    France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reacts during his semifinal match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters tournament in Monaco against Spain's Rafael Nadal, Saturday, April 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)The Associated Press

  • 931fa27049d6950d2f0f6a706700cbf7.jpg

    Spain's Rafael Nadal plays a return to France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga during their semifinal match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters tournament in Monaco, Saturday, April 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)The Associated Press

  • c989617549d5950d2f0f6a7067006621.jpg

    France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reacts during the semifinal match of the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters tournament in Monaco against Spain's Rafael Nadal, Saturday, April 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)The Associated Press

Eight-time defending champion Rafael Nadal recorded his 46th consecutive win at the Monte Carlo Masters by beating Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 7-6 (3) Saturday to reach the final.

The Spaniard has reached five straight finals since returning from a seven-month layoff following a left knee injury. He will face the winner of Saturday's later semifinal between top-ranked Novak Djokovic and unseeded Fabio Fognini of Italy.

The sixth-seeded Tsonga saved four match points as he rallied back from 5-1 down to force a second-set tiebreaker, which was tied at 3-3 before Tsonga started making unforced errors.

Nadal clinched the victory with a forehand winner and took a step closer to a ninth straight Monte Carlo title and 23rd Masters title overall.