Rafael Nadal
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Rafael Nadal Kandas in the Monte Carlo Masters Quarter-finals

Rafael Nadal must bury his ambition to score his 12th title in the Monte Carlo Masters tournament. The Spaniard ran aground in the ATP Masters 1000 quarter-finals after being defeated by Russian Andrey Rublev with a score of 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, Friday evening local time or Saturday, April 17, 2021.

Rublev, who is the sixth seed, managed to break the dominance of Nadal in the Monte Carlo Mastes, as well as reaching the inaugural semifinal of the tournament. Rublev has now scored a 1-2 meeting with Nadal.

“Defeating Rafa, who is the best player in history on clay, is clearly my best win. But, if you look at him from his side, he is not playing at his best,” Rublev said as reported by the official ATP Tour website.

According to the Russian, Nadal has a bigger burden because he is known as the King of Clay and is required to play invincible. When reality shows otherwise, of course it will be a burden in itself.

“He’s done it year after year, winning all the tournaments on clay. Of course it’s amazing how he has come this far. That’s why he’s one of the legends,” said Rublev.

In the semifinals, Rublev will face Casper Ruud for a chance to win his first title at the ATP Masters level. Ruud overthrew defending champion Fabio Fognini in the quarter-finals 6-4, 6-3.

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Rublev has a 3-0 record against Ruud, including two wins on clay.

“Casper is playing very well. I have known him for a long time. He is an extraordinary player and every game against him is a dramatic match. I will try to recover as well as I can and do my best tomorrow,” said Rublev.

Before Rafael Nadal was eliminated in the quarter-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters , first seed Novak Djokovik collapsed in the third round. The Serbian stunned British non-seed Daniel Evans 6-4 7-5 the day before.

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