"He didn't play his even good level today" - Rublev remains humble despite huge win over Nadal
Rublev overcame a second set slump to triumph 6-2 4-6 6-2, advancing to his maiden ATP masters 1000 semifinal. Although Nadal has an insurmountable 73-5 record at this event, it was Rublev who looked the more confident of the two as he held his nerve to produce some of his best tennis of the season.
“On one side, if we look at a player like Rafa, who is the best clay-court player in history, then of course it's one of my best victories for sure,” Rublev said after his match. “But if you look at it from the other side, how he feels, for sure he didn't play his even ‘good’ level today."
"In his position it’s so tough when people expect that you're the best player on clay and you have to win yes or yes every time. You cannot lose on clay because you're the best. It's so tough to play with this feeling. He's doing this year by year. He's winning all the tournaments or going deep every time on clay tournaments. This is amazing how he handles this. That's why he's one of the legends.”
The victory matches the biggest win of the Russian's career, as he now has four wins against the World No.3-ranked player. He will face the unseeded Casper Ruud for a place in his first ATP Masters 1000 final. Ruud defeated defending champion Fabio Fognini in straight sets earlier in the day, but trails Rublev 0-3 in career meetings.
“Casper is playing really well. I have known him for a long time. He is an amazing player and every match against him was a dramatic match,” Rublev said of the Norwegian. “We had really great rallies and a really great level of tennis. It is going to be super tough."
"He is in great shape now. He finished today much earlier than me. We will see what is going to happen tomorrow. I will try to recover as best as I can and to do my best tomorrow.”