Industry leader Rafael Nadal remains on course for his mission “Undécima”. Despite minor problems, the Spaniard defeated the Russian Karen Khachanov 6: 3, 6: 2 in the round of 16 of Monte Carlo and will now face Dominic Thiem (No. 5) on Friday. Nadal has so far won five out of seven duels with Austria’s number one. Most recently, “Rafa” won in the semifinals of the French Open 2017 in three sets.
After just under 80 minutes Nadal turned his first match point on the sun-drenched Court Rainier III and celebrated his third victory in the third duel with the 21-year-old Khachanov. It is his 14th quarter-finals in Monaco in series.
Mission “Undécima” also applies to Nadal at the French Open
The left-hander gets on the beloved red ashes and before his favorite Grand Slam in late May in Paris always better momentum. In Roland Garros on the Bois de Boulogne the clay court King could get his eleventh title. As in these days in the Principality. In any case, the mission “Undécima” is in full swing, even though Nadal almost gave up the lead against Khachanov 4: 1 when he conceded the rebreak to 4: 3.
A real challenge for the crowd pleaser on Friday is now the duel against Dominic Thiem, the former world number one Novak Djokovic from Serbia (# 9) on Thursday with 6: 7 (2: 7), 6: 2, 6: 3 defeated. The “Dominator” had in May last year in the Foro Italico in Rome Nadal in the round of the last eight with 6: 4, 6: 3 off. The first success against the bull from Manacor Thiem was successful in 2016 in Buenos Aires – also on sand.
“Rafa” Nadal after comeback more and more
Nadal had returned to the big stage just two weeks after injuring his hip flexor in the Davis Cup. With victories over Philipp Kohlschreiber and Alexander Zverev.