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Surprised Nadal sees 'super solid' Djokovic exit Monte Carlo

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AP, Monaco :
Surprised at seeing rival Novak Djokovic go out of the Monte Carlo Masters after an error-strewn performance, defending champion Rafael Nadal acknowledged he enjoyed some luck in reaching the semifinals on Friday. Quite an admission from the best player in clay-court history, who has won both this tournament and the French Open a record 11 times. But Nadal struggled against fellow left-hander Guido Pella, losing his first three service games to trail 4-1 before recovering to beat the unseeded Argentine 7-6 (1), 6-3. Top-ranked Djokovic, who has won the tournament twice, earlier lost 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 to 10th-seeded Daniil Medvedev and produced 47 unforced errors. Djokovic out, Nadal in trouble. It seemed - briefly, at least - that the day might produce two straight upsets. Especially when Pella served for 5-1.
But he double-faulted, giving the second-ranked Nadal an unexpected reprieve which he took full advantage of.
"That game was decisive, and I was lucky to win that one. After that, the match changed a lot," Nadal said. "Losing the first three games was tough but I found a way at the right time. Sometimes these matches help for rhythm because you suffer."

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