A ninth Monte Carlo
But Federer — a four-time runner-up on the French Riviera — was not too disappointed, considering that his priority was to come back safely after more than two months out following knee surgery.
This was Federer's first tournament play since arthroscopic surgery on his left knee for torn cartilage on Feb. 3, and defeat was softened by relief at avoiding any relapse.
"It was good to play back-to-back, yesterday and today, good to play 2 hours 10 (minutes) today," Federer said. "It was nice to play an intense match. I'm happy how the body reacted."
"He is still a major player on clay," Federer said of Nadal, whose last title here came in 2012.
The statistics agree with Federer.
Nadal leads Murray 16-6 in career meetings and 6-1 on clay. For the other two semifinalists, Nadal is 11-2 up on
In a one-sided contest between former champions, Nadal broke Wawrinka four times, and made the semifinals for the 11th time.
"When I had the opportunity, I was trying to control the point," Nadal said.
Murray took out
"If I play like I did today, I'll have a chance," said Murray, who lost to Nadal in the semifinals in 2009 and 2011 when Nadal was winning eight consecutive Monte Carlo titles.
Murray beat Nadal in the Madrid Masters final last year, when he won his first two career titles on clay.
The Briton thinks patience will be the key factor against the nine-time French Open champion.
"He can make you go for winners from uncomfortable positions," said Murray, who did not face a break point against the big-serving Raonic. "You have to not allow that to happen."
Nadal improved to 15-3 in career matches against Wawrinka, who began as a winner in three of their last five contests.
Having saved 15 of 17 break points in the third round against Dominic Thiem, Nadal conceded only one chance this time.
Wawrinka drew jeers from the crowd in the fifth game of the first set when he broke his racket, angrily bending it around his thigh.
The Swiss player was also frustrated by the noise level coming from people enjoying their lunch in the restaurant perched above center court.