Andrey Rublev upset 11-time champion Rafael Nadal in a gripping three-set match to reach the semi-finals of the Monte-Carlo Masters.
World No. 8 Rublev capitalised on a below-par display from Nadal to take the opening set and then, having been pegged back, broke three times in the third set to clinch a 6-2 4-6 6-2 victory.
The Russian will next face Casper Ruud, who beat 2019 champion Fabio Fognini 6-4 6-3.
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On the other side of the draw, British No. 1 Dan Evans, who beat Novak Djokovic earlier in the week, overcame David Goffin in the quarter-finals and will next face Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Nadal looked like the strong favourite for the tournament after Djokovic’s exit, but, having dropped only five games in his first two matches, he was slow out of the blocks against Rublev.
The world No. 3 made 13 unforced errors, including five double faults, as Rublev took the opening set in 38 minutes.
Rublev broke again to start the second set and seemed in firm control of the contest.
Nadal managed to save three break points to avoid falling 4-1 behind but couldn’t take chances of his own in an engrossing sixth game as Rublev fended off four break points.
Rublev had another break point in the next game and his failure to take any of his opportunities proved costly as Nadal reeled off four games in a row to level the match.
But just as the momentum looked to be with Nadal for the first time, it quickly swung back to Rublev as he broke in the opening game of the third set.
Although Nadal responded immediately, Rublev won the next four games, breaking twice more, and sealed a memorable victory with his first match point.
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