Mischa Zverev

Nadal advances at Monte Carlo as Djokovic goes out

Rafael Nadal remains on course to retain his Monte Carlo Masters title and won't have Novak Djokovic standing in his way.

The top-ranked Nadal beat big-hitting Russian Karen Khachanov 6-3, 6-2 on Friday to reach the quarterfinals, clinching victory with a clinical smash at the net. The 10-time champion next faces fifth-seeded Dominic Thiem, who earlier won 6-7 (2), 6-2, 6-3 against Djokovic.

"(Thiem) plays so good on every surface but especially on clay. He hits the ball hard," said Nadal. "I can't let him play from good positions because he has lot of power and it will be so difficult to control him."

Thiem can take confidence from having...