Rafael Nadal downs Gael Monfils in Stuttgart semis

Rafael Nadal will contest his first grass-court final since Wimbledon 2011 after defeating Gael Monfils in the semi-finals of the MercedesCup on Saturday. He prevailed 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 19 minutes, converting on two of six break chances, while saving all four faced on his own serve.

Nadal, who won the Stuttgart title in 2005 and '07 when it was held on clay, will vie for his second crown of the season after defeating Juan Monaco in Buenos Aires. He improved to 11-2 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head series against Monfils, extending his win streak to three straight over the Frenchman.

The Spaniard owns the fourth-most grass court titles among active players with three, behind only Roger Federer (14), Lleyton Hewitt (8) and Andy Murray (5). He is 65-29 overall in tour-level finals.

In Saturday's second semi-final, Serbia's Viktor Troicki faces second seed Marin Cilic.

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