Neither Novak Djokovic nor Rafael Nadal will be in the semifinals of the Monte Carlo Masters 1,000 this weekend. If the world number 1 unexpectedly left the Country Club, this Friday the Mallorcan tennis player, 11 times champion of the tournament, did it in a battle against the Russian Andrey Rublev who has thrown him out of the tournament with forcefulness 6-2, 4- 6 and 6-2.
“It has been a day to forget . My serve has been a disaster, I only thought about putting it inside. It was a deadly cocktail, playing badly and doing it in front of a great player. When that happens, you lose. It worries me enough. It’s a defeat that is not positive and it is a game where I have not played well. It has been a bad day “.
Rublev was Nadal’s first real test in Monte Carlo. Neither Federico Delbonis , who came from the previous one, nor Grigor Dimitrov , who hardly even played, were rivals to find the best sensations after almost two months without playing. The Russian tennis player arrived in Monte Carlo after a start to the season with 20 victories and the title in Rotterdam, after having made the great leap in 2020 when he won five titles.
The Russian tennis player, eighth in the world, has started by breaking Nadal’s serve from the beginning and despite the fact that the Mallorcan has managed to equal the mark (2-2), then he has yielded four games in a row and the set in 38 minutes, adding errors and five double faults, something unusual for him.
In the second set, again, Rublev snatched Nadal’s serve, for the fourth time with the sixth double fault, to the despair of the world number 3 who shouted angrily, also unusual for Nadal .
“What is it?” Nadal said in Catalan with the score against 1-3. On the other side of the net, Rublev , if he knew what he was doing. His right was a hammer that struck to one side and another, again and again, the defense of Nadal , who could not find his way out of the Russian tennis player’s siege.
Nadal has been saved from a new break after a game that lasted more than 10 minutes and in which Rublev had three ‘break’ balls to make it 4-1. It escaped him, just like 5-2.
“Decision, go”, encouraged Moyà to Nadal. And he held on to the fight. After 1 hour and 42 minutes he achieved his first ‘break’ (4-4) and two games later the set was signed. Everything was starting over, but Rublev wasn’t about to let his chance slip away. The Russian broke from the beginning (1-0), Nadal equalized (1-1), but Rublev still pressed the accelerator further to take an already unattainable lead by winning four games in a row (5-1) to close his pass to the semifinals in 2 hours and 32 minutes.
Rematch in Barcelona?
Rublev won the victory to face Norwegian Casper Ruud on Saturday , who hours before had eliminated the previous year’s champion, Italian Fabio Fognini (6-4, 6-3). Nadal leaves disappointed, the Russian tennis player is the fifth player to kick him out of Monte Carlo.
“We will have to continue working. It is not a good start to the gravel season . Now we will have to continue improving in Barcelona,” said the Mallorcan tennis player who is also the great favorite at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell that this Saturday will celebrate the draw for the team and where will also be Rublev , last minute guest. A tournament that will feature the four tennis players who will compete in the semifinals of the Monte Carlo Masters 1,000.
Disappointment for Davidovich
Nor was Alejandro Davidovich able to follow his dream and left the court crying, disappointed to have to retire against Stefanos Tsitsipas due to a muscle injury in his left leg and after giving up the first set 7-5-.
The 21-year-old tennis player from Malaga, who had slipped into the quarterfinals of a Masters 1,000 for the first time in his career, has not been able to continue his illusion of taking another step in the Monegasque tournament.
Davidovich has requested medical attention after the sixth game and although he has managed to break Tsitsipas to take ahead 4-3, then he has yielded the two blank games, with gestures of pain, to lose the set and the match in an hour .
Davidovich is disappointed by an injury that has slowed down his great week in which he had eliminated Alexander DeMiñaur , Matteo Berretini and Lucas Pouille , without giving up a set. A performance that will allow him to jump to position 48 in the world.
Tsitsipas will face Daniel Evans in the semifinals this Saturday . The Briton, who gave the bell the previous day eliminating Novak Djokovic , has continued his streak on the ground (winning the seventh game of his career) to eliminate this Friday the Belgian David Goffin 5-7, 6-3 and 6- Four.