(Reuters) - Rafa Nadal reached his first grasscourt final in four years after beating Gael Monfils 6-3 6-4 in the semi-finals of the Stuttgart International on Saturday.
Nadal will face either Serbia’s Viktor Troicki or Croatia’s Marin Cilic in the final of his first tournament since a disappointing claycourt campaign ended with a French Open quarter-final defeat by Novak Djokovic.
Nadal, whose last grasscourt final came at Wimbledon in 2011, has dropped to 10th in the ATP rankings after a difficult year in which he has won only a single title.
The twice Wimbledon champion looked sharp against Monfils, however, easing past the Frenchman, who failed to convert any of his four break-point opportunities, in only 79 minutes.
“I think I‘m playing well,” the Spaniard said on Sky Sports.
”It’s important for me after losing at Roland Garros to keep going and have the right attitude, the right level of tennis in the next couple of weeks and that is what I am trying.
”I‘m practising every day with a very positive attitude, working a lot of hours on court. I had a tough first three months and a half -- very bad for me -- but I felt that the last month and a half was better.
“I‘m enjoying again the tennis and every victory is important and being in the final is great news.”
Nadal has won the Stuttgart title twice in 2005 and 2007, when the tournament was held on clay.
Reporting by Toby Davis; editing by Martyn Herman