Rafael Nadal Monte Carlo 2021

‘His forehand leaves you on the floor,’ says Carreno Busta ahead of Rafael Nadal clash

Pablo Carreno Busta referred to his compatriot Rafael Nadal as the greatest of all time on clay and praised his devastating forehand ahead of their semi-final. 

Nadal, who has failed to produce his best tennis over the past fortnight, improved drastically in his quarter-final matchup, dispatching Britain’s Cameron Norrie 6-1 6-4.

Carreno Busta has failed to record a single victory against Nadal, losing all of their seven previous encounters of which four have been on the clay surface.

Nevertheless, the World No 13 will believe this is his best chance to finally crack the 20-time Grand Slam champion, after an impressive victory at the Andalucia Open and a spirited comeback against Diego Schwartzman in the last round.

Ahead of the clash, Carreno Busta said: “Rafa Nadal is the greatest of all time on clay. He has a forehand which leaves you on the floor. If you let him start dictating the rally, you are finished.

“Tomorrow I have the toughest match on this surface that you can play. I’ll just try to enjoy the moment.”

After clinching his victory over Norrie in just over 90 minutes, Rafael Nadal was quickly back out to practice ahead of his semi-final.

“I just want to hit some balls, to let the arms loosen up and just hit for 10 or 15 minutes,” Nadal explained.

The World No 3 will be eager to take another huge step in his bid for a 12th Barcelona title on Saturday, though Carreno Busta will be buoyed by Nadal’s failure to find his imperious groove, dropping sets against Ilya Ivashka and Kei Nishikori.