Rafael Nadal Monte Carlo 2021

‘For Rafael Nadal it must be incredibly tough,’ says Andrey Rublev

Andrey Rublev said he cannot begin to fathom the pressure Rafael Nadal faces when he steps on to a clay court following his shock win in Monte Carlo. 

The Russian produced a huge upset and a masterclass in attacking tennis to defeat the 11-time champion 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 in the quarter-finals.

Rublev clinched his first career win against Rafael Nadal on his with yet another powerful winner on forehand, a weapon Nadal failed to contain all match.

After his shock win, Rublev praised Nadal for consistently performing despite the huge weight of pressure on the Spaniard’s shoulders.

“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. “I think for him it must be incredibly tough.”

Having beaten the 20-time Grand Slam champion on one of his clay strongholds, Rublev will now face Casper Ruud in the semi-finals, with the Norwegian already battling past experienced clay operators in Pablo Carreno-Busta and Fabio Fognini.

“Casper is playing really well. I have known him a long time,” said Rublev, who is 3-0 against him overall.

“He finished today much earlier. I will try to recover as best as I can.”

In the other semi-final, British talent Dan Evans will take on Stefanos Tsitsipas, with Evans hoping to reach his first ever Masters 1000 final.

Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.