The Monte Carlo masters is believed to be the big return of Rafael Nadal. The first clay court tournament of the season where he is a nine-time champion. Every tennis fan has been desperately waiting for the dragon to unleash.
In the quarterfinals of Monte Carlo on Friday, things did not go as expected. There will no longer be a semi-final between former World no. 1s. The second biggest upset took place when the 10th seeded Belgian player, David Goffin defeated the 2nd seeded Serbian, Novak Djokovic 6-2 3-6 7-5.
This time Djokovic could not escape the way he did in his previous matches. If he was stubborn with his points so was the Belgian and he showed him no mercy, He ended all the hopes of the Serbian for his third title.
The first set was an easy win for Goffin or at least he made it look that way. Goffin had two early breaks and he continued to put the Djokovic under enormous stress. He laid powerful and accurate shots and nailed each one of them his perfect play.
The second set saw the response from Djokovic. After taking a nasty tumble he literally bounced back. This time he could find his game. He rediscoved his groove though it wasn’t enough to win the match. In the deciding set Goffin went all in and gave a neck to neck to the World Number 2 and finally prevailed in defeating one of the a top-three players for the first time in his career.
In the last quarterfinals, the Spaniard sailed through to the next round. He defeated the Argentine 6-4 6-4. The first set did not bother Nadal though it brought immense pressure to Schwartzman who never had a luck against a top 10 player. The 24-year-old remained dauntless in front of the former champion, breaking Nadal’s serve to lead 4-2 in the second but as expected Nadal took it as a challenge and didn’t let the match enter the third set.
Earlier, Spanish wonder Albert Ramos-Vinolas followed up his victory over Murray with a 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 victory against Croatian fifth seed Marin Cilic. He will play France’s Lucas Pouille, who beat Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas 6-0 3-6 7-5, in Friday’s other semi-final.
With other top seeded players out of the competition it seems that Nadal could finally make his big comeback as the ‘King of Clay’. Not only would it be an addition on to his long of list of achievements but also a much needed boost to his confidence.