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Nadal cruises through to Monaco last four

  • Story Highlights
  • Top seed Rafael Nadal wins two matches on Friday to reach Monaco last four
  • Nadal defeats Nicolas Lapentti before cruising past Ivan Ljubicic in quarterfinal
  • The Spaniard faces Andy Murray in last four as Briton beats Nikolay Davydenko
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(CNN) -- Top seed Rafael Nadal is through to the semifinals of the Monte Carlo Masters after cruising through his third round and quarterfinal ties on Friday, for the loss of just nine games.

Rafael Nadal is on course for a fifth Monte Carlo Masters title after two victories on Friday.

Rafael Nadal is on course for a fifth Monte Carlo Masters title after two victories on Friday.

First defending champion Nadal, who is seeking his fifth consecutive title at the Country Club, crushed Ecuador's Nicolas Lapentti 6-3 6-0 in a match held over from Thursday because of the poor weather.

The Spaniard then returned later in the day to see off Croatian Ivan Ljubicic 6-3 6-3 to reach the semifinals and clash with fourth seed Andy Murray.

Murray continued his fine form on his least favorite surface of clay by beating sixth seed Nikolay Davydenko in straight sets.

The Briton was far from his best in seeing off Italian Fabio Fognini 7-6 6-4 in a match completed on Friday morning ahead of his quarterfinal clash.

Russian Davydenko secured his place in the last eight after defeating Argentine 12th-seed David Nalbandian 6-4 5-7 6-3.

Meanwhile, third seed Novak Djokovic is also in the last four after edging past Spain's Fernando Verdasco 6-2 4-6 6-3 in the first quarterfinal to be played.

The Serb will now face Roger Federer's conqueror Stanislas Wawrinka for a place in the final, after the 13th-seeded Swiss defeated Andreas Beck of Germany 6-2 6-4.

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