Nadal stunned by Ferrer
Rafael Nadal suffered a surprise exit at the Monte Carlo Masters as Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer set up a semi-final clash.
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Djokovic was a 4-6 6-3 6-1 winner over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez while Federer came back from the brink to see off Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Earlier in the day, top seed and eight-time champion Rafael Nadal was sent crashing out by David Ferrer, who claimed a shock 7-6 (1) 6-4 victory.
Federer lost the first set 6-2 and was two points away from losing the second set when he trailed 6-5 and 30-0, only to get back to a tie-break and win it, before taking the decider 6-1.
"I was down 6-5, 0-30," Federer said.
"It was a tough point at 15-30, as far as I remember, with a half volley backhand defence kind of thing. It wasn't looking good there. Clearly (it) was quite frustrating for a long period of time, missing all those break points.
"Now, looking back, I can take also some positives out of the match. It was just many things went wrong at the wrong time for me; Jo playing well, me playing wrong at certain times, wrong shot selections. It was a tough day at the office. I'm happy I found the way to tough it out.
"The confidence is there. I played well from the baseline. My serve was consistent. I'm very happy that I have this foundation for my game.
"Sometimes you feel you have no foundation. But having it helped me to remain very calm during the whole match.
"I really believed that eventually I was going to come through. It's not possible to go through that many break points.
"I was playing good enough to make the break and then serve my way home. That's exactly kind of what happened."
In the all-Spanish duel between Nadal and Ferrer, the 32-year-old came out on top to record his first success against the 14-time Grand Slam champion on the red dirt in 10 years.
Nadal came into the clash on a 30-match winning streak and led the head-to-head series between the pair 21-5, including wins in nine of their last 10 encounters and 17 straight matches on clay since 2004.
But against all the odds the sixth seed produced one of his greatest performances to reach the last-four in two hours and 13 minutes.
Ferrer handed the top seed only his third loss at the tournament a day after Nadal had won his 300th clay match of his career and 50th at the Monte Carlo Country Club.
Ferrer was determined not to be a makeweight though and flew through the tie-breaker before building a 5-2 lead in the second set, although a wobble on his serve gave Nadal hope.
But on his second attempt to serve out the match, Ferrer got the job done. At 30-all, the nerves may have been twitching, but a powerful forehand inside the right sideline was too good for Nadal, setting up match point.
Ferrer did not need to find another spanking winner as Nadal netted to seal his own fate.
"Losing hurts everywhere. On clay always a little bit more," Nadal said on the ATP's official website.
"I am not happy today about what I did. Not very happy about the way that I played the second set after losing the first.
"I didn't play with the right intensity at the beginning of the second. I give him big opportunity at the beginning of the second. I cannot do that."
Ferrer will next meet Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka in the semi-finals after the Swiss ace reached the last-four for just the second time in his career after dispatching Milos Raonic 7-6 (7/5) 6-2.
He was given a stern test during the opening set though, with the big-hitting Canadian taking a 5-3 lead in the tie-breaker.
However, Wawrinka hit back to win the next four points before going on to seal the match in exactly 90 minutes.
Wawrinka finished with 30 winners and 28 unforced errors and never faced a break point.
He now stands 3-0 over Raonic, who was playing his first clay court quarter-final at the Masters 1000 level.
Wawrinka, who had a walkover in the previous round when Spain's Nicolas Almagro pulled out with a foot injury, improved his season record to an impressive 18-3.