Nadal crushes Llodra to reach Madrid semi-final

5 6 2011 81139 l - Nadal crushes Llodra to reach Madrid semi-final
MADRID: Holder Rafael Nadal marched into the semi-finals of the ATP-WTA Madrid Masters on Friday, snuffing out Frenchman Michael Llodra''s challenge 6-2, 6-2 in little more than an hour. The French Open champion, chasing his third title of the spring on clay, will next face either old rival Roger Federer or Robin Soderling for a place in the final. Nadal''s victory was his 36th in succession on clay with his last loss coming in the fourth round to Soderling at 2009 Roland Garros. The top seed has charged through another clay campaign with titles in April at Monte Carlo and Barcelona so far. Nadal was untroubled by Llodra, a classic serve-and-volleyer who was simply out of his depth on clay against the best the game has to offer. The world number one did not lose a point on serve until his third game and was never under pressure from Llodra who saved two match points before Nadal secured the victory after 74 minutes without facing a break point. Tomaz Bellucci became the first Brazilian into the semi-finals of a Masters since three-time Roland Garros champion Gustavo Kuerten in 2003 thanks to a 7-6 (7/2), 6-3 defeat of Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych. Bellucci is coached by "Guga''s former mentor, Larri Passos. Bellucci achieved his second Top ten victory in less than 24 hours after dispatching world number four Andy Murray in the Madrid third round. On the women''s side, Julia Goerges booked the first of the semi-final spots, defeating Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-2. The world number 27, who is set for a move into the top 25 on Monday, took just under 90 minutes to clock her ninth straight victory, a run which began when she claimed the Stuttgart title a fortnight ago. Goerges, 22, was the first German to lift home honours in Stuttgart since Anke Huber in 1994. Along the way, she accounted for world number one Caroline Wozniacki, her third-round victim this week in Madrid as well. Goerges saved six break points against Pavlyuchenkova and broke the Russian three times, going through on the first of three match points. Goerges, an Auckland semi-finalist in January, improved to 22-9 this season and leads the WTA with 16 victories on clay in 2011. She next faces Belarusian Victoria Azarenka, who battled past Czech Lucie Safarova 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.