Nadal, Murray finish the job to reach Monte Carlo quarters

Nadal, Murray finish the job to reach Monte Carlo quartersMonte Carlo - Rafael Nadal was due to continue his clay campaign Friday with an afternoon quarter-final against Ivan Ljubicic after finishing off a rain-interrupted contest over Nicolas Lapentti at the Monte Carlo Masters.

Officials at the season clay kick-off were riding a lucky streak of perfect weather before more rain was forecast for the weekend.

Nadal completed a 6-3, 6-0 third-round crushing of the Ecuadorian after getting through only one game on Thursday.

Croatian Ljubicic booked his place with a defeat of Italy's Simone Bolelli, 7-5, 7-6 (7-2).

Nadal has now won 24 straight clay matches at Monte Carlo with his only loss there coming in 2003 to Guillermo Coria.

The Spanish number 1 is aiming for a fifth consecutive trophy at the prestigious venue.

British fourth seed Andy Murray joined Nadal in completing a rain-hit contest, earning his first career quarter-final on clay over Italian Fabio Fognini 7-6 (13-11), 6-4.

Murray has been on a tear this season, leading the ATP with three titles and now in a position to threaten both number 3 Novak Djokovic as well as possibly number 2 Roger Federer.

The Swiss Federer, who made a late entry into the field, was bundled out Thursday by Davis Cup teammate Stan Wawrinka, who was facing a quarter-final against German qualifier Andreas Beck.

Murray was due to play Russian Nikolay Davydenko, who beat David Nalbandian of Argentina 6-4, 5-7, 6-3. (dpa)