Russian Andrey Rublev, 23 years old and No. 8 in the world, has submitted Rafa Nadal, 34 years old and No. 3, for 6-2, 4-6 and 6-2 in 2h.32 ‘. An exceptional match for the Muscovite, overwhelming in the first round and who overcame the heroic reaction of the clay king in the second round to end one of his great victories with determination.
The manacorí experienced one of his worst clay sleeves. Five double faults, continuous errors. He was continually angry because he did not understand that he was competing so badly. Yet true to his DNA, he never stopped looking for a crack in the rival wall.
He found it ‘in extremis’, coming back three balls from 4-1 and serving Rublev, one more than 5-1 and serving from the Russian. He persisted in a second set of exceptional tennis, deep exchanges at a fast-paced, suffocating pace. He found the ‘break’ back, three games in a row that allowed the eleven-time champion of this Monte Carlo ATP Masters 1000 force the third set.
The ward of Fernando Vicente he went to the bathroom for a moment, returning to the court as if nothing had happened. He had missed a good opportunity, but he taught that his mental maturity is a fact, that the five titles won in 2020 and the one in Rotterdam this year are the fruit of a complete work in all senses of the game.
Excellent with the right, in the ability to turn a Nadal attack into his own dynamite, he ended up overwhelming an outcompeted Rafa. It was his first tournament in two months, second of the year since Australian Open, and he had no rival with Delbonis and Dimitrov in the Principality.
It has a way to go on its surface. Next week, at Gothic, which also announced the presence at the invitation of Rublev, who for now has already achieved a first triumph over Nadal, with whom he had yielded on hard court, in the 2017 US Open And in the 2020 ATP Finals, where the nerves went against the Russian, more done as an athlete every week than last and he is experiencing strong emotions in the elite.
He still has work since this Saturday he is measured in Norwegian Casper ruud, shamed by Italian champion Fabio Fognini. Above, cross between Dan Evans and Stefanos Tsitsipas. The forecasts, broken since Daniil Medvedev’s positive in coronavirus. Then, in the round of 16, Novak Djokovic gave way, and Nadal leaned into the quarterfinals.
The four survivors, debutants in the penultimate round of Monte Carlo. Also a Rublev who adds his second ‘semi’ in the Masters 1000, consecutive also since he made that result in Miami. His longer shoot also helped him rule over Nadal.