“My Serve Was a Disaster”: Rafael Nadal Evaluates His Loss to Andrey Rublev at Monte Carlo Masters 2021

Published 04/16/2021, 5:36 PM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Monte Carlo Masters – Monte-Carlo Country Club, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France – April 16, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal reacts during his quarter final match against Russia’s Andrey Rublev REUTERS/Eric Gaillard


World Number three Rafael Nadal was stunned by Russia’s Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals of Monte Carlo Masters 2021. It was a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 loss for Rafa in Monaco.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

And by doing so, Rublev bagged his first-ever win over the ‘king of clay’ Nadal, and just 24 hours prior to his match he wasn’t really enthusiastic to play against the legendary Spaniard on the red dirt.

To evaluate Nadal’s performance on Friday evening, he certainly played a blunt game on his serve. Altogether, his first serve win percentage was 56, and the second serve win percentage was 4% less than the first.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

His serve was broken seven times by Rublev, also more than a dozen of times the Russian had the opportunity to break Rafa’s serve.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Monte Carlo Masters – Monte-Carlo Country Club, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France – April 16, 2021 Russia’s Andrey Rublev with Spain’s Rafael Nadal after winning his quarter final match REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Nadal himself was not contented with his service games and labeled it to be a ‘disaster’ in the Monaco quarterfinals.

“Well, have been an easy match to explain, no? When you face great player like him and you don’t play well, you should lose, no? That’s easy to analyze,” said Nadal in his post-match press conference at Monte Carlo Masters.

“For some reason, I had problems with my serve. I don’t understand why because I was not having problems with the practices at all. But today was one of these days that my serve was a disaster.”

“Serving like this, the serve creates an impact on the rest of the game. When you serve with no confidence, you are just focusing on try to serve, not think about how you want to play the ball.”

Apart from his serves, Nadal admitted his backhand shots were not up to the mark. He was unable to open the court with it.

“Well done for him”: Rafael Nadal praises Andrey Rublev

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Against Rafa in Monaco, Rublev had put up an aggressive game that involved some ‘racket-gut-breaking’ tennis. World Number eight Rublev’s shots were simply resonating Court Rainier III, and Nadal also commended his performance.

“He played well. That’s true. He played great. He played aggressive, as I knew. Well done for him. Happy for him. He’s a great guy. Wish him all the best,” Nadal while praising Rublev.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Monte Carlo Masters – Monte-Carlo Country Club, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France – April 16, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal reacts during his quarter final match against Russia’s Andrey Rublev REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Up next in the last-four round, Rublev will take on 22-year-old Norwegian professional tennis player Casper Ruud, who dethroned the defending champion Fabio Fognini in the quarterfinals of the French Riviera event.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Mahalakshmi Murali

1905 articles

Mahalakshmi Murali joined EssentiallySports in 2018 as a tennis author and has gone on to pen more than 1800 engaging articles, probing into various aspects of the sport and its illustrious players. With her expertise on the sport, Mahalakshmi has interviewed stalwarts from the sport such as Serena WIlliams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou and Kevin Anderson’s physio, Carlos Costa. Equipped with her vast experience and a keen understanding of the sport, Mahalakshmi now co-heads the tennis department.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT