The upsets kept coming in the Friday quarterfinals at the Monte Carlo Masters, where local resident and world No. 2 Novak Djokovic and No. 5 seed Marin Cilic were upset on the red clay.
Djokovic was outlasted 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 by No. 10 seed David Goffin of Belgium. By the end of the third set Djokovic was wincing and appeared gassed after long rallies.
“It doesn’t matter how you played before against [Djokovic],” Goffin said. “You just have to do your best and give everything on the court. Maybe once, like today, it goes well…I now have more experience than in the past. I am better able to manage these matches and these victories. I know there’s a lot of emotion. You lose a lot of energy in a match like that one.”
Djokovic did take a nasty spill in the second set when going wide for a ball.
“I started slowly probably because I played two long matches,” said Djokovic. “But I thought as the match progressed I was feeling okay. You know, I was physically fine…I had my chances, I definitely did. I just didn’t use them.”
Goffin in the semifinals will meet No. 4-seeded Rafael Nadal, who continued his historically-brutal Monte Carlo form, defeating unseeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman 6-4, 6-4.
“It wasn’t easy to find a real way to win, but I played much better in the last three-and-a-half games, more aggressive with my forehand,” said Nadal who is attempting to raise a 10th career Monte Carlo trophy. “I am in the semifinals. That’s what I’m looking for, a great start to the clay-court season.”
Schwartzman dropped to 0-10 career against Top 10 opponents.
Cilic like Djokovic was also ground down on the dirt, outlasted 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-2 by No. 15 seed Al Ramos-Vinolas.
Ramos-Vinolas will next face No. 11-seeded Lucas Pouille, who fought off a late charge to defeat No. 16 seed Pablo Cuevas 6-0, 3-6, 7-5.
“If I say I’m not thinking about [reaching the final] at all, I would be lying,” Pouille said. “It is human. The draw has become completely open with the seeded players having lost. It’s an opportunity for me, but also for him. Ramos has played well and beaten very good players to reach this stage. It’s going to be a very tough match.”
SATURDAY MONTE CARLO SCHEDULE
COURT RAINIER III start 11:30 am
 F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) vs  P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA)
Not Before 1:30 pm
 A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) vs  L. Pouille (FRA)
Not Before 3:30 pm
 R. Nadal (ESP) vs  D. Goffin (BEL)
R. Bopanna (IND) / P. Cuevas (URU) vs [WC] R. Arneodo (MON) / H. Nys (FRA)
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