Madrid: Holder Rafael Nadal marched into the semi-finals of the ATP-WTA Madrid Masters on Friday as he snuffed out any challenge from Frenchman Michael Llodra 6-2, 6-2 in little more than an hour.
The king of clay who is keen to win his third title of the spring on clay will await either Roger Federer or two-time French Open finalist Robin Soderling as his next opponent.
Nadal's victory was his 36th in succession on clay - his last loss came in the fourth round to Soderling at 2009 Roland Garros.
The top seed has charged through another clay campaign with titles in April at Monte Carlo and Barcelona so far.
Nadal was untroubled by Llodra, a classic serve-and-volleyer who was simply out of his element on the clay against the best the game has to offer. Nadal was playing after a rest day when he went through after potential opponent Juan Martin del Potro withdrew with a hip injury.
The world number one did not lose a point on serve until his third game and was never under pressure from Llodra. He was momentarily delayed from the win as Llodra saved two match points before Nadal put away the victory after 74 minutes without facing a break point.
Tomaz Bellucci became the first Brazilian into the semi-finals of a Masters 1000 since three-time Roland Garros champion Gustaveo Kuerten in 2003 thanks to a defeat of Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych 7-6 (7/2), 6-3.
Bellucci is coached by "Guga's former mentor, Larri Passos. Bellucci achieved his second Top ten victory in less than 24 hours after dispatching world number four Andy Murray in the Madrid third round.
On the women's side, Julia Goerges booked the first of the semi-final spots, defeating Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 6-2.
The number 27 winner, who is set for a move into the ranking Top 25 on Monday, took just under 90 minutes to clock her ninth straight victory, a run which began when she claimed the Stuttgart title a fortnight ago.
Goerges, 22, was the first German to lift home honours in Stuttgart since Anke Huber in 1994. Along the way, she accounted for world number one Caroline Wozniacki, her third-round victim this week in Madrid as well.
Goerges saved six break points against Pavlyuchenkova and broke the Russian three times, going through on the first of three match points.
Goerges, an Auckland semi-finalist in January, improved to 22-9 this season and leads the WTA with 16 victories on clay in 2011.
She next faces Victoria Azarenka, who battled past Czech Lucie Safarova 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.