Russia’s Andrey Rublev stunned Rafael Nadal, a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 defeat in the Monte Carlo Masters quarterfinals on Friday. Interestingly, the sixth-seeded player could have won in even more convincing fashion. Nadal had managed to save break points at 3-1 down in the second set. He then clawed his way back to win that set and seemed to have settled into a rhythm. However, Rublev broke him immediately at the start of the final set. It is worth noting that the 34-year-old Nadal looked tired towards the end of the game.
“When you face a great player like him and you don’t play well, you should lose,” Rafael Nadal said after the match. “He played great, he played aggressive. Well done to him.”
Rublev clinched his first win against third-seeded Nadal on his first match point with a typically powerful winner on forehand. Notably, that was a weapon Nadal struggled to contain all match.
“I don’t even know what to say. I cannot imagine being in the situation of Rafa, knowing that you are the best player on clay,” Rublev said. “For him it must be incredibly tough, I think.”
Having beaten the 20-time Grand Slam champion on one of his clay strongholds, Rublev’s next opponent is unseeded Norwegian Casper Ruud.
Earlier, unseeded Dan Evans beat 11th-seeded David Goffin 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the first Masters semifinal of his career. This win came a day after upsetting the top-ranked Novak Djokovic.
ICYMI, the semis are set!
🇬🇧 Evans v. Tsitsipas 🇬🇷
🇷🇺 Rublev v. Ruud 🇳🇴
Watch the action on TV or stream on @TennisTV.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) April 17, 2021
He will now face fourth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas, who a French Open semifinalist last year. The big-serving Greek led 7-5 against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina when the unseeded Spaniard abandoned with a thigh injury.
There are no former champions left, with Nadal and Fabio Fognini joining two-time winner Djokovic at the exit before the last four“It wasn’t easy after the match yesterday, I felt really tired afterwards,” said Evans, who has only one career title. “But I am proud of how I came back today.”