Nadal battles past Pella to reach Monte Carlo semis
Clive Brunskill / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Rafael Nadal is through to the semifinals of the Monte Carlo Masters after a hard-fought 7-6 (1), 6-3 win over Guido Pella.

The Spaniard was down 4-1 in the opening set before rallying back and prevailing in a tiebreaker. He's now won 25 straight sets at Monte Carlo dating back to 2017.

"It was a very tough first set physically and mentally, too," Nadal said, according to the ATP. "Losing the first three games with my serve was tough. But I found a way at the right time. I was lucky at 4-1, he had two points to be (up) 5-1 and with (a) 5-1 (deficit) it's almost impossible.

"I was lucky to escape that moment and then I played better ... I'm very happy to be through. Being in the semifinals again here means a lot to me."

The World No. 2 broke Pella's serve seven times in 13 opportunities. Entering Friday's match, the Argentine led the ATP Tour with 14 clay-court wins but was winless in two career matches against the King of Clay.

Nadal is the three-time defending champion at Monte Carlo and owns a record 11 tournament titles. He'll play Fabio Fognini in the next round after the Italian defeated Borna Coric 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 in his quarterfinal match.

Nadal battles past Pella to reach Monte Carlo semis
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