Nadal had won the ATP Monte Carlo Masters an unprecedented 8 consecutive years (2005-2012) but lost in the final to Novak Djokovic last year.
The semifinals will be Roger Federer versus Novak Djokovic and Stanislas Wawrinka versus David Ferrer. Federer leads Djokovic 17-16 in their overall head-to-head but the two are tied 3-all in their clay court matches. My prediction would be a Djokovic-Ferrer final, but I would not be surprised to see a Djokovic-Wawrinka final instead, since I imagine his win over Nadal was very emotional for Ferrer. An All-Swiss final would be my druthers!