Friday in Monte-Carlo

As the finale on Sunday edges closer we will officially have a new Masters 1000 champion on Sunday but before semi-finals kick off on Saturday, who got there and how?

Casper takes out defending champion Fabio

After I praised such a strong start to his week and did say he had not been tested but one player who has survived a few tests this week was Casper Ruud who battled well against Schwartzman and escaped from 1-3 down to Carreno-Busta on Thursday.

Fabio however had cruised but the first big test proved to be a problem for the Italian. He didn’t settle into the match and credit to Casper who I didn’t think played too well a few days ago but has gone onto have one of his best tournaments to date.

This could be a big clay court season for the Norwegian and out of everyone left in the draw he I would say is most comfortable on his surface.

Tsitsipas wins a short battle with Alejandro

It was a match I was looking forward to and the first set was quite intense and fun between the Greek and the Spaniard but it wasn’t the encounter we expected.

Unfortunately during the first set which Alejandro lost 5-7 the Spaniard did take a fall and at the conclusion of the set called time on his tournament following a fantastic week after a difficult start to the year and I hope we see him back soon.

Dan’s dream continues!

Dan Evans is a man on a mission. The British number one is into the semi-finals of the singles and the semi-finals of the doubles with Neal Skupski in Monte-Carlo

Not only had Dan not won a singles match on clay in four years before this week in his career he had only won four main draw matches and has now reeled off four in a row en-route to the semi-finals where he defeated David Goffin in the final eight for his spot in the final four.

It continues to be an unfathomable fairytale for the British number one who has never settled on clay but from a set down to David Goffin sealed a three set win to set up a Saturday meeting with Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Relentless Rublev Rumbles Rafa!

It was one of the most bizarre matches of the week as Andrey Rublev knocked out eleven time champion Rafael Nadal who did not play too well at all.

Credit where it is due to Andrey Rublev of course, I thought the intensity, speed on his service games and the sheer power through his forehand was delightful to watch from the young Russian who seemed a bit tentative on Thursday when asked about playing Rafa on a clay court.

It did look like being straight forward business for the Russian but the grit and determination of Rafa to get level in the second set was superb, it cannot be faulted how well the Spaniard played to get to 4-4. Suddenly it sparked him into life in the match as he went onto take the second set 6-4.

The third set turned into a runaway for the Russian, Andrey raced to a 5-1 lead and the question was, would he get tight? The answer? Not a chance as for the first time ever Rafael Nadal lost in three sets in Monte-Carlo leaving him heading to Barcelona with some questions…

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