15 Apr 2011

Nadal and Federer heading for final showdown

5:38 am on 15 April 2011

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer continued on a collision course towards the Monte Carlo Masters tennis final after easily winning their third round matches in contrasting conditions.

The world number one Nadal braved unusually chilly temperatures on the sun-kissed Cote d'Azur to seal a quarter-final spot against Ivan Ljubicic with a straightforward 6-2 6-4 victory over Richard Gasquet.

The Second seed Federer staked his claim with a 6-4 6-3 victory over Croatia's Marin Cilic, with the Swiss barely getting out of first gear but unleashing some superb winners and next meets Austrian Juergen Melzer on Saturday.

Third seed Andy Murray, meanwhile, drew jeers for drop shots against an injured opponent, with the Scot shunning the popularity contest in his 6-3 6-3 defeat of French 16th seed Gilles Simon.

The fourth seed David Ferrer navigated his way through the third round with a 6-1 6-3 win over Canada's fast-rising Milos Raonic but Czech fifth seed Tomas Berdych hit the rocks when he was overwhelmed by Croatia's Ljubicic 6-4 6-2.

The eighth seed Gael Monfils lost 7-6 6-2 to vibrant Portuguese qualifier Frederico Gil, Murray's next opponent, while Spain's Tommy Robredo retired hurt when leading Viktor Troicki.