The master of the ATP500 struck at a ATP Masters 1000 event against one of the all time greats. Andrey Rublev produced a noticeable victory over Rafa in three sets in the quarter finals in Monaco. Break points galore in this one. Between them they had 27 break point opportunities with both combining to convert a not so great 11 times. On the positive, this could indicate the digging-deep ability of both players. Rafa’s forehand was strangely off in that first set. Watch 4-2 Rublev up a break with Rafa serving at 40-30 down. Not like him to let the shot hit the net in a high stakes game. Closing out the first set took a lot out of Rublev too.It took another unforced error to seal the set win for the Russian by Rafa 6-2.
This point showed that a player can out-Rafa Rafa Nadal on a clay court .Rublev up a break at serving up 3-2 with adv Nadal at deuce.The Russian keeping the Spaniard on the baseline with some scintillating shots capped off by a volley at the net of which Rafa with his aging legs could bot get to. Now for the point of the match, one in which Andrey will want to look away from. Rublev up 4-3 serving with adv Nadal at deuce. Ball presented to Rublev at the net crying to be smashed away. Rafa reading the cross court forehand like a book returning a forehand down the line with postage stamps. Rafa sealed the hotly contested set 6-4.
Rublev raced to a double break up in the third 4-1 with Rafa looking increasingly tired. The months away from the game taking their toll perhaps. From there there could only be one winner.Rublev with the biggest victory of his young career and if you ask him I bet he will tell you its trumps any of the titles he has won so far.