Nadal, Federer reach Monte Carlo QFs

Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France ( - Eight-time champion Rafael Nadal and three-time runner-up Roger Federer were a pair of easy third-round winners Thursday at the $4 million Monte Carlo Masters tennis event.

The top-seeded Nadal whipped Italian Andreas Seppi 6-1, 6-3, while the fourth- seeded former world No. 1 Federer handled big-serving Czech Lukas Rosol 6-4, 6-1 on the red clay at the beautiful Monte Carlo Country Club.

Federer lost to Nadal in three straight finals here from 2007-09.

Nadal lost to Novak Djokovic in last year's final, ending his record eight- year reign at this event. He's now a brilliant 50-2 overall in Monte Carlo.

The reigning French and U.S. Open champion Nadal and Djokovic currently hold all nine Masters titles between them, as well as the ATP World Tour Finals.

Meanwhile, third-seeded Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka advanced via walkover when 15th-seeded Nicolas Almagro pulled out of the draw and sixth-seeded French Open runner-up David Ferrer dismissed 12th-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-2. The Spanish star Almagro was fresh off his runner-up finish in Houston.

Also on Day 5, eighth-seeded Canadian slugger Milos Raonic doused 11th-seeded Spaniard Tommy Robredo 6-4, 6-3 and ninth-seeded French favorite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga overcame gritty 10th-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini 5-7, 6-3, 6-0 at the first clay court Masters event of the year.

The 2014 Monte Carlo winner will collect $760,000.

National News