MOSCOW, April 16. /TASS/. Andrey Rublev of Russia on Friday defeated world’s No. 3-ranked player, Rafael Nadal of Spain, to proceed to the semifinal of the ATP Rolex Monte Carlo Masters.
The 23-year-old Russian won the game 6:2, 4:6, 6:2.
Commenting on the game, Russian retired tennis star Yevgeny Kafelnikov said Rublev’s performance against Nadal was comparable to that of world’s number one.
"If Rublev continues to play like that, he is 99.99% sure to win this tournament," Russian former world No. 1 tennis player said. "His performance against the greatest clay-court player of all times surely means something. Andrey’s level will allow him to win more than one future Grand Slam event. His performance was that of world’s number one, that’s for sure. I wish we would see something of this kind in Paris six weeks later."
The sixth-seeded Russian’s next opponent will be Norway’s Casper Ruud, who moved into the semi-finals earlier in the day with a 6:4, 6:3 win over Fabio Fognini.
In the other semifinal, Daniel Evans of the United Kingdom will face Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece.
Rublev is currently ranked eighth in the ATP standings, with eight ATP titles on his record. His best Grand Slam performance is the quarterfinals at the US Open (2017, 2020), the French Open (2020) and the Australian Open (2021).
Nadal, 34, is ranked third in the world and has won 86 ATP titles, although he is notably missing the ATP Finals trophy. The Spaniard shares the Grand Slam record with Swiss Roger Federer as each won 20 of them.
The Monte-Carlo tournament has been held since 1897 on clay courts. Italian Fabio Fognini is the current defending champion after lifting the trophy in 2019. The 2020 edition had to be scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic. The prestigious Masters tournament will run through April 18, it offers $2.5 million in prize money.