Rafael Nadal, 34 years old and No. 3, he knows the terrain very well, not in vain he disputes for the sixteenth round of the quarterfinals of the ATP Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo. The balance in this stadium of the tournament is fourteen victories and one defeat, against David Ferrer in the 2014 edition.
The eleven times champion, from 2005 to 2012 and from 2016 to 2018, will seek the semifinals against a rookie today on Friday, since the Russian Andrey Rublev he has had his best result in Monaco, but he has been established in the elite for a long time. At 23, he is ranked eighth in the world and has made the semifinals in his three previous tournaments (Doha, Dubai and Miami), previously being the winner in Rotterdam and the ATP Cur by countries and a quarter-finalist in the Australian Open.
Rublev, a regular in Barcelona training at the 4Slam Tennis academy with the coach Fernando Vicente and the physiotherapist Marc Boada, won five titles last season, despite the ATP stoppage of almost five months due to the pandemic.
A dealer of clubs in both directions and with forehand, especially, and backhand. Play very direct. Temperamental, he will learn what it means to face Rafa Nadal in his reign on clay.
Pista Rainiero III (11.00 am)
Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greg / 4) -Alejandro Davidovich (Esp)
Dan Evans (GBR) -David Goffin (Bel / 11)
Andrey Rublev (Rus / 6) -Rafa Nadal (Esp / 3)
Casper Ruud (Nor) -Fabio Fognini (Ita / 15)
Their paths crossed before on hard courts, with 2-0 Nadal dominating at the US Open 2017 (6-1, 6-2 and 6-2) and the ATP Finals in London 2020 (6-3 and 6-4).
“I hope to be ready to give the level I need against one of the best in the world, be it one or the other,” referring to Rublev or Bautista. The Muscovite beat the Castellón by 7-6 (2), 5-7 and 6-3 in 2h.45 ‘of a lot of wear and tear.
The best of Nadal-Rublev will already know if the defender of the 2019 title, the Italian, awaits in Saturday’s ‘semis’ Fabio Fognini, or the norwegian Casper ruud, regular tenant of Rafa’s academy in Manacor.