11-time Monte Carlo champion Rafael Nadal plays in-form Next Gen Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals of the 2021 Monte-Carlo Masters on Friday, April 16. Get the live streaming options of this Rafael Nadal v Andrey Rublev match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Rafael Nadal v Andrey Rublev Head to Head
The players have met twice in the past, with Nadal winning on both occasions. They first met at the US Open in 2017 and then at the Tour Finals in London last year. Nadal prevailed in straight sets both times.
Nadal Defeating Opponents Convincingly
It is April, it is the start of the clay season, and it is Monte Carlo. This may well have been the mid 2000’s , as not much seems to have changed. Rafa Nadal is in another Monte Carlo Master’s quarter-final and has made his way here with minimal trouble.
While a good portion of the season thus far has seen Nadal troubled with his back, pulling out of the ATP Cup, looking out of sorts in his quarter-final loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Aussie Open as well as pulling out of Rotterdam, Acapulco and Miami, when it is time for the red dirt, he is as unstoppable as can be. Twenty- time major winner Nadal is in search for another French Open, i.e. his 14th which will put him ahead of Roger Federer’s total slam count of twenty titles.
In search of his 12th Monte Carlo tile, Nadal has looked nothing less than ominous this week dismantling Federico Delbonis and Grigor Dimitrov dropping five games in total. While both looked a little out of sorts, Nadal did not really let anyone settle into a groove of any sort either and was in cruise control from the get-go.
Into the quarter-finals, and with Novak Djokovic eliminated it will take a superhuman effort to stop Nadal here this week, and once he gets his momentum going, perhaps stopping him anywhere during the clay swing may prove to be close to impossible.
In-form Rublev Has Toughest Task Yet
Andrey Rublev has been in phenomenal form of late, winning five titles in 2020, making his first ever Tour Finals and breaking into the top eight in the ATP rankings. He continued his strong run of form at the start of the season too, leading Russia to the finals of the ATP Cup, and was in ominous form at the Australian Open, until the quarter-finals where he ran into compatriot Daniil Medvedev and lost in straight sets.
The Russian added to his title count at Rotterdam winning another ATP 500, and looked the favorite in both the tournaments in the Middle-East, at Doha and Dubai respectively. But, surprise semi-final defeats to Roberto Bautista Agut in Doha and Aslan Karatsev in Dubai derailed his season ever so slightly.
The Russian arrived in Miami with a 16-3 record for the year and in the absence of the Big Three and Dominic Thiem, was one of favorites at the start of the tournament along with the likes of Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas. While it was another clinical week of wins against Tennys Sandgren, Marton Fucsovics and Sebastian Korda, Rublev ran into Hubert Hurkacz on song and lost another semi-final encounter in straight sets.
Having won the ATP 500 on the Hamburg clay last year, Rublev started the clay season looking confident as he recorded a convincing opening win against Salvatore Caruso. Running into Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut who has been playing some good tennis this year as well, the Russian had his hands full winning the match in a decider, setting himself up for the toughest task yet of his career, i.e. playing Rafa Nadal on a clay court, this time at Monte Carlo.
Nadal v Rublev Prediction and Tip
Rublev has been in good form through the end of last season and so far this year, but Nadal on clay at Monte Carlo is as formidable as can be. Expect Rublev to give it his all, but Nadal should prevail in straight sets.
Tip: Nadal to win in straight sets: 4/11 (bet365)