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Nadal and Federer breeze into last eight with comfortable wins


Rafael Nadal of Spain returns the ball to Andreas Seppi of Italy during the Monte Carlo Masters in Monaco. Photo - AFP

Monte Carlo: Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer demonstrated their superior class on clay as they eased into the quarter-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters on Thursday.

Claycourt wizard Nadal barely broke a sweat in his 6-1, 6-3 thrashing of Italy's Andreas Seppi while fourth seed Federer recovered from a break in the first set to beat Czech Lukas Rosol 6-4, 6-1.

Spaniard Nadal, whose eight-year reign as Monte Carlo champion was ended by Serb Novak Djokovic in the final last year, extended his proud record in the principality to 50-2 with the win on centre court.

The world number one will next meet compatriot and sixth seed David Ferrer in the final eight, who made easy work of Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov winning 6-4, 6-2.

"That is going to be a very tough match," the eight-times French Open champion told a news conference.

"David is a tough, tough player on any surface but here on clay, (he is) always a big challenge. I play a lot of matches against him, very tough ones."

Federer, who has a record 17 grand slam titles, will face local favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a mouth-watering quarterfinal after the French ninth seed shook off a mediocre start to celebrate his 29th birthday with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-0 victory over Italy's Fabio Fognini.

Earlier, Swiss third seed Stanislas Wawrinka reached the quarterfinals without hitting a ball on Thursday after his third-round opponent Nicolas Almagro withdrew injured.

"I woke up this morning with a severe pain in my left foot that prevented me from even walking normally," Almagro said.

"After consulting with the doctor for a long time this morning, we decided together that it was better for me not to play today."

Australian Open champion Wawrinka advances to meet eighth seed Milos Raonic after the Canadian beat 11th-seeded Spaniard Tommy Robredo 6-4, 6-3.

Later on Thursday, Djokovic continues the defence of his title against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain in his third-round match.

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