Surprise day in Monte-Carlo. Rafael Nadal, the top champion of the tournament, was eliminated at the hands of Andrey Rublev. The last tournament champion, Fabio Fognini, also lost.
Leaning on the power of his right, Rublev wiped Nadal off the court in the first set. It was 6-2 for the Russian, against an unknown Nadal in one of his favorite tournaments.
The second quarter was 4-2 up for Rublev and Rafa entered Fiera mode: he kept his serve, broke twice in a row and took it 6-4. An enlarged Nadal could lead to believe that Rublev would fall in the deciding set.
None of that happened and the Russian kept breaking and breaking. He closed it 6-2 to remove the big favorite (who had only lost 5 games in his Monte-Carlo career) from the tournament. Now, Rublev will play his second Masters 1000 semifinal – the previous one was in Miami, against Hurkacz – against Casper Ruud, who removed Fabio Fognini, champion of the last disputed edition of the Masters 1000, in 2019 from the tournament.
On the other side of the table come Stefanos Tsitsipas (7-5 to Davidovich and abandonment) and the surprising Daniel Evans, who beat David Gofffin.