Nadal beaten by Rublev in Monte Carlo quarter-finals

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

April 16, 2021

(Reuters) – Rafa Nadal suffered a shock quarter-final defeat by Russian Andrey Rublev at the Monte Carlo Masters on Friday as he was overpowered 6-2 4-6 6-2, only his sixth ever loss at the tournament he has won 11 times.

The Spaniard was in danger of being thrashed when Rublev led by a break in the second set, having dominated the opener, but showed his trademark grit to battle back.

Rublev was unrelenting, however, and bludgeoned his way into a 5-1 lead in the second set after break the Nadal serve three times. Nadal held serve but the 23-year-old world number eight then finished it off with a crushing forehand winner.

It was Rublev’s first win against Nadal and the first time had managed to win a set.

The semi-finals have an unfamiliar look with Rublev up against Norway’s Casper Ruud who knocked out 2019 champion Fabio Fognini 6-4 6-3. In the other half Dan Evans, who beat world number one Novak Djokovic on Thursday and followed up by knocking out David Goffin, plays fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Nadal, 34, was playing his first tournament since losing to Tsitsipas in the Australian Open quarter-finals, but had shown no sign of rust while dropping only five games in his opening two matches.

But Rublev proved a very different proposition with his ultra-aggressive style preventing Nadal from being able to set the pattern as he usually does on one of his favourite stages.

Nadal had no answer to Rublev in the first set and looked close to defeat when Rublev had points for a double break in the second set. He dug his heels in though and clawed his way back to take the set in 74 minutes.

Normal service had not been resumed though as Rublev broke at the start of the decider and although Nadal broke back immediately, the Russian’s brute force eventually wore down the 20-time Grand Slam champion.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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Gasquet pulls out of Monte Carlo following COVID-19 related complications

FILE PHOTO: Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Paris Masters – AccorHotels Arena, Paris, France – November 4, 2020 France’s Richard Gasquet in action during his second round match against Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

April 9, 2021

(Reuters) – Frenchman Richard Gasquet said on Friday that he was pulling out of next week’s Monte Carlo Masters because of “complications related to COVID-19”.

The world number 49, who reached the semi-finals of the claycourt Masters in 2005, has had a tough start to the season, notably not being able to take part in the Australian Open because of a foot injury.

Gasquet, who made the announcement on Instagram, has only won two matches this year on the main tour.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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Bruins’ Brandon Carlo week-to-week after hard hit

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Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo is out of the hospital, but his status for a return to the ice is week-to-week, according to coach Bruce Cassidy.

Carlo landed in the hospital due to a hit from Washington’s Tom Wilson, which earned the Capitals right winger a seven-game suspension after a hearing on Saturday.

The incident occurred Friday night with about 90 seconds left in the first period of Boston’s 5-1 home win. Carlo was fighting for the puck in a corner when Wilson skated toward him and lifted his right elbow, hitting Carlo in the head. Carlo’s head smashed into the glass, and he fell to the ice and remained there, eventually skating off under his own power.

Wilson wasn’t penalized on the play, but Carlo was taken to the hospital by ambulance. He was released Saturday morning.

Cassidy wouldn’t elaborate on Carlo’s injury and looked to move on from the incident.

“I was glad they looked at it, and they did assess some discipline,” said Cassidy. “I’ve made my feelings known on what I felt with the hit.”

“I’ve kind of moved on and getting ready for New Jersey.”

Pending an appeal, Wilson will not play for the Capitals on Sunday night when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers.

Wilson, 26, is one of the most penalized players in the NHL. With 1,052 penalty minutes in his eight-year career, Wilson is 10th on the list for penalty minutes among active players.

Each of the players on the list ahead of him have been in the league at least five years longer than Wilson.

–Field Level Media

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