Monte-Carlo Masters 2021 Quarterfinals: Rafael Nadal vs Andrey Rublev Preview, Head-to-Head & Prediction

Published 04/15/2021, 11:15 PM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Monte Carlo Masters – Monte-Carlo Country Club, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France – April 14, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his second round match against Argentina’s Federico Delbonis REUTERS/Eric Gaillard


It is time for the thrilling quarterfinals at the Monte-Carlo Masters 2021. Unquestionably, the last match of the final eight, Rafael Nadal taking on Andrey Rublev, has captured everybody’s full attention. With both players carrying a lot of gun powder, a night of fireworks will go down at the Court Rainer III tonight.

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The 34-year-old Spaniard has unfailingly reminded everyone why he is named the king of clay. Rafael Nadal reached the quarterfinals after burying Federico Delbonis 6-1, 6-2 and Grigor Dimitrov 6-1, 6-1. Consequently, he will now go up against the sixth seed of the tournament.

Russian World No. 8 Andrey Rublev would not have wanted this matchup until the Monte-Carlo Masters 2021 final. However, in the shadow of the Spaniard, even he has exploited his opponents in the red dirt of Monaco. Recently, he overcame the ninth seed Roberto Bautista Agut in a nail-biting decider set, 7-6 (2), 5-7, 6-3.

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Apr 1, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Andrey Rublev of Russia salutes the crowd after his match against Sebastian Korda of the United States (not pictured) in a men’s singles quarterfinal in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Together, both Nadal and Rublev will be looking forward to putting on a great show. Sadly, only one of them will book a berth in the semi-finals.

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Rafael Nadal vs Andrey Rublev: Head-to-Head

Unsurprisingly, Rafa leads the head-to-head battle 2-0 against the Russian. He has won against Rublev at the 2017 US Open quarterfinals and in the 2020 ATP Finals round-robin match.

However, the 23-year-old Russian has developed his game and confidence extensively in the last six months. It would be interesting to see how he fights for his first win against the 20 majors champion. Also, it would be the first time they both will compete on a clay court.

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Nadal vs Rublev: Prediction

The 11-time Monte-Carlo Masters winner will undisputedly be the favorite in the match. His out-of-the-world adaptive skills and unrivalled mastery of clay would not be easy for his opponent to overcome.

Thus, Nadal will prepare himself to find his first serve and focus on taking control right from the start. Moreover, his fierce competing spirit and reputation on clay will have their effect on the Russian.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Monte Carlo Masters – Monte-Carlo Country Club, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France – April 14, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his second round match against Argentina’s Federico Delbonis REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

To win this match, Rublev would need to be consistently aggressive and unpredictable throughout. Additionally, he would want to maintain his service game to put Nadal under pressure. But more than anything, his nerves and mindset would play a crucial role against the Spaniard.

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While it is irrational to see Nadal exiting so early from Monte-Carlo, a great fight from Rublev would not be a surprise. Above all, may the best man on the day win. Who is your potential semifinalist from this match?

Prediction: Nadal to win in the third set.

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Purav Joshi

926 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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