The final eight are set at the first Masters clay event of the season. With Novak Djokovic out in a shock upset, the field is wide open with two former champions Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka squaring off.
Nadal has won 14 of 17 against Wawrinka (including their first 12) but the Swiss has won three of their last five. On clay, Nadal is ahead 5-1.
“Stan, he’s always very dangerous opponent and he’s a great player,” said Nadal. “I know when he’s playing well, it’s difficult to stop him because he’s able to hit so hard the ball from every part of the court. He’s able to serve so good, too.
“We’ll see. Will be a tough one. I only can think about myself. I have to continue the same way as today, fighting for every point, playing with my strategy. We’ll see if I am able to play like today or maybe a little bit better.”
Nadal has won Monte Carlo eight times and this marks his 12th straight quarterfinals at the event. Wawrinka won the title in 2014. This is Wawrinka first Top 10 test of the year.
Four-time finalist Roger Federer resumes his comeback and bid for a first Monte Carlo title against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Federer, who hasn’t lost a set in his return from knee surgery this week, leads the Frenchman 11-5. Tsonga won their most recent encounter at 2014 Toronto. Federer won their only Monte Carlo meeting in three sets also in 2014.
“I like his game. I like his power, his capacity to move forward with his forehand,” Federer said. “I’ve seen wonderful matches of him against the best players, and also against me.”
Andy Murray is also after his first Monte Carlo crown. The Scot has won his last three matches against Milos Raonic to lead 4-3, including a 5-set thriller in the Australian Open semifinals.
“He serves obviously very well,” said Murray. “It’s a good test for me. Maybe didn’t play my best today or in the first match. But by fighting and getting through, it gives me an opportunity to play better tomorrow and test myself against one of the best players in the world. It’s a good position to be in.”
And Gael Monfils continues to climb up the ranks against lucky loser Marcel Granollers. However, Monfils, a semifinalist at Monte Carlo a year ago, has lost his last three to the Spaniard.
FRIDAY MONTE CARLO SCHEDULE
COURT RAINIER III start 11:00 am
 M. Raonic (CAN) vs  A. Murray (GBR)
 R. Nadal (ESP) vs  S. Wawrinka (SUI)
 R. Federer (SUI) vs  J. Tsonga (FRA)
 G. Monfils (FRA) vs [LL] M. Granollers (ESP)
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