Rafael Nadal suffered only his third defeat in 11 years at the Monte Carlo Masters Friday losing in straight sets to fellow Spaniard David Ferrer.
The 32-year-old Ferrer produced a typically energetic performance to take the quarterfinal match 7-6 (7/1) 6-4 marking the first time he has beaten Nadal on clay in over a decade.
"I am happy because I am in the semifinal and because I am playing very good this week," a delighted Ferrer told the ATP Tour's official website.
"Rafa is not a machine. Sometimes he can play not so good always. Well, maybe today he didn't play his best tennis, and I played very good."
The pair swapped four service breaks in an enthralling 85-minute first set that Ferrer eventually took on a tie break.
Ferrer then stretched into a commanding 5-2 lead at the start of the second before being pegged back to 5-4.
The diminutive Spaniard kept his cool under pressure, however, calmly serving out to take the set 6-4 and with it the match.
Nadal was gracious in defeat, although he admitted concern at what was an uncharacteristically tepid performance at one of his favored events.
The world No. 1 won eight titles in a row at Monte Carlo between 2005 and 2012 before his triumphant run was halted by Novak Djokovic in last year's final.
"When you play tennis, you can lose, you can win," Nadal said. "When the opponent is doing things better than you, the normal thing is you lose. That's what happened today."
"I didn't play the right way. I didn't play with the right intensity with my forehand. I played too short. I gave him the chance to have control of the point almost all the time. He did much better than me, so I just congratulate him."
World No. 6, Ferrer, will now face Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka in the semifinal Saturday.
The Swiss overcame Canada's Milos Raonic 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 to reach his first semifinal since his Melbourne triumph earlier this year.
Elsewhere Roger Federer defeated home favorite Jo Wilfred Tsonga 2-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-1 to set up an enticing semifinal match against Novak Djokovic.
The Serb eventually overcame Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain in Friday's final quarter final match winning 4-6 6-3 6-1.