Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic experience rare joined early exit in Monte Carlo
The Serb and the Spaniard were the favorites to battle in the final this week, but that will not happen, as they both failed to reach the semi-final! Since the Australian Open 2005, Novak and Rafa have played 174 ATP tournaments together, with both failing to advance into the last four 17 times and only seven after 2012! Djokovic and Nadal haven't played since the Australian Open, staying away from the Tour for almost two months and not finding their best tennis in Monte Carlo, where they usually play on a very high level.
Seeking the 12th Monte Carlo title, Rafael Nadal made a great start against Federico Delbonis and Grigor Dimitrov, losing under ten games and wasting no time on the court en route to the quarter-final. There, Nadal faced an in-form Russian Andrey Rublev and suffered a heavy 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 loss, unable to challenge the younger opponent in sets one and three for only his sixth loss in the Principality.
Nadal gave his best to recover his game in set number two, winning four straight games to avoid a defeat before Rublev shifted into a higher gear and left him behind in the decider.
Novak Djokovic lost even earlier, experiencing a 6-4, 7-5 defeat to Daniel Evans in the third round despite being 3-0 up in set number two. The Serb made too many unforced errors and failed to play his best in the crucial moments to suffer an early exit and lose the first match of the season.