Rafael Nadal Extends Monte Carlo Streak to Reach Final

Rafael Nadal defeated Britain’s Andy Murray in their semifinal duel at the Monte Carlo Masters on Saturday to extend his unbeaten streak in the tournament to 36 matches and stay on course for a record seventh-consecutive title.

Nadal needed almost three hours to register the 6-4, 2-6, 6-1, victory over Murray, who was bothered by an elbow injury throughout the tournament. Standing in the way of Nadal is fellow Spaniard David Ferrer, who trounced Jurgen Melzer, 6-3, 6-2, in the other semifinal. Melzer had earlier prevented a possible clash between Nadal and Roger Federer when he defeated the Swiss ace in the quarterfinals.

Nadal, who has won the Monte Carlo Masters six straight years dating back to 2005, is the favorite in Sunday’s final against Ferrer. However, Ferrer is expected to give Nadal a tough challenge since he is one of only three players to beat the world No.1 this year—the others being Novak Djokovic and Nikolay Davydenko.

UPDATE: Watch the 2011 French Open live online here.