In a stunning display at the Monte Carlo Masters, Andrey Rublev managed to defeat the legendary third-seeded Rafael Nadal out of the competition. The 11-time champion was shown the exit door after a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 defeat in the quarterfinals of the tournament
Despite a poor head-to-head record against Nadal, the sixth-seeded Russian defeated the Spaniard on Court Rainier III, the same court where Nadal lifted eleven trophies. Nadal, who is the latest of the big 3 to exit the tournament as he followed world number one Novak Djokovic (with Federer not playing in the tournament).
Nadal seemed to be very disappointed with himself as he said that “Today was one of those days that my serve was a disaster.” He failed to make it to the semi-finals only for the second time in 16 appearances in Monte Carlo.
“It’s always sad to lose here. I missed an opportunity to start the clay-court season in the right way. But that’s it. It’s not the moment to complain. The only thing that I can do is go to Barcelona (where he plays next week) and keep practicing, try to fix the things that didn’t work well.”
Upon beating Nadal, Rublev spoke about the amount of pressure Spaniard has to dwell on due to his phenomenal record in the game. He said, “I’m shocked to see the level which he can reach despite this pressure. It’s much easier to play when you have nothing to lose.” The world number eight will be facing an unseeded Casper Ruud in the semi-finals, who defeated the defending title winner Fabio Fognini. Fognini had previously won the tie with Nadal, following which he went on to become the Monte Carlo Masters winner.
The semi-finals will be played on April 17 between Dan Evans and Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Casper Ruud and Andrey Rublev. The final is scheduled for April 18.
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