Rafael Nadal beats Diego Schwartzman to reach Monte Carlo semi-finals

Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal has booked his place in the last four of the Monte Carlo Masters with a straight-sets victory over Diego Schwartzman.

Our champ came through by a 6-4, 6-4 scoreline to move through to a semi-final showdown with David Goffin, who recorded the biggest win of his career when he broke a 14-match losing streak against the Top 3 in the Emirates ATP Rankings with a hard-fought and high-quality 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 victory over Novak Djokovic.

Source: ATP World Tour

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30 thoughts on “Rafael Nadal beats Diego Schwartzman to reach Monte Carlo semi-finals

  1. Michele

    I did not say Fed has shown Rafa the way to play. I mean that Fed has shown convincingly that even the best players have to change their game to meet new challenges. My point is that Rafa needs to change wholeheartedly, not a tweak here and there.

    And Rafalite, I have a right to my opinion without you being so aggressive, especially as you misunderstood what I meant anyway.

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  2. Rafalite

    Well Rafa looked great at the end, but had some bad patches. The commie I was listening to, Robbie Koenig (who generally drives me nuts and i don’t take most of what he says to be great analysis) pointed out that when Diego went to Rafa’s FH he was winning most rallies, but then abandoned that tactic and started hitting more to the BH. This was just when Rafa took control again in the 2nd set.
    I think Koenig was right, so it wasn’t so much that Rafa got better but that DS stopped working the FH over (this is the well known tactic that Djok used against Rafa, and others have since used it effectively) enabling Rafa to get to the shot that is his killer shot–the ISO CC FH–and that’s when you started seeing the better depth and Rafa controlling the points.

    I find all this very interesting, because there are definitely two Rafas on the court–one that gets yanked around a lot, looks like he can only make defensive jobs at the ball etc; and the other, who controls the court and grinds opponents into the dirt. We assume it’s all up to Rafa which way he plays, but I’m starting to think when his opponent can use this tactic effectively (it isn’t easy to do) Rafa has alot of difficulty.

    I will be watching for this tomorrow. I consider Goffin highly dangerous, no less dangerous than Djok would have been. They have never played. My only hope is that today was the biggest win of Goffin’s life, and often a kind of emotional exhaustion occurs after that.

    It should be an amazing match.

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    1. va4favre

      Do you think Diego changed his tactics because he was getting tired? I was concerned that Rafa might lose the second set, but I really thought that he would win. I am hoping Goffin is more tired tomorrow than Rafa.

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      1. Rafalite

        Not sure. I would like to watch that 2nd set again, and see exactly what changed. I think it takes enormous confidence and faith to hit mainly to Rafa’s FH, but I see the logic of why it works. He doesn’t move as well to that side, doesn’t hit as well defensively off that side, and the big kill shot is not the natural FH, it’s the ISO FH. So once Rafa gets established in the right hand corner of the court, it’s very hard to do anything. UNless you’re Djok. Djok shut him down there by being able to get to the ISO FHs and send them back with interest.

        I noticed this year Rafa was playing more from the middle of the court. He was taking more ISO FYHs as BHs. There were benefits to that, but it also opens up hitting to his natural FH more.

        It’s very complicated! Rafa is very good at “finding a way” Well, he was, then he wasn’t. Maybe he will be again. Strange we should be so worried about Diego Swartzman, shorter than most of the ball boys.

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    2. va4favre

      In previous posts, some said that they wanted Rafa to play Novak in the semis tomorrow. I did not agree since I would like Rafa to get a couple more clay court matches under his belt. I would prefer that this happen in Madrid or Rome. I would like it to happen before RGs and in a semi. I respect Novak, but his breast cupping motion after he wins is nauseating.

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      1. Rafalite

        Might have been me who said that–I said I didn’t mind, b/c Rafa looked better than last time they met (Rome) and Djok, worse.
        People, including myself, spend a lot of time thinking about which opponent they’d rather their fav play, but the fact is Goffin is better than Djok at the moment. That could change tomorrow, of course.
        Of course Rafa has huge baggage with Djok, and none with Goffin.
        Madrid is Rafa’s weakest of the clay tournaments; it plays more like a HC. Not for nothing Murray won there.

        LOL re Novak’s breast cupping motion! It’s ridiculous. I’m one of the rare Rafa fans who also likes Djok (well, mildly)(and dislikes Fed and Murray) but I relish his upsets and didn’t like him when he was totally dominant. I like Djok as #2. Fed as #3, and Murray as #4.
        I will never forget Djok’s bodice ripping antics when he first ascended. But I prefer that to Fed’s crying scene.

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      2. Rainier

        Hey, I think it’s me. I wanted Novak in the semis because the way he’s playing now, Rafa could beat him for sure. And here at MC is the ideal where and when. But mostly it’s because I think Rafa REALLY needs a win over Djokovic, better sooner than later, in Masters or smaller tournaments before Slams.

        I never underestimate Novak but I think it’s doable now for Rafa after such a long time that ate away so much of his confidence. If Rafa still can’t overcome this Novak, he only has himself to blame.

        But I believe he will find much heart, both of them indeed, should they meet. Should be a great match. And I love great matches. I’m not the type who only wants the “easiest” opponent for Rafa to beat in each match. Indeed I want every player to play well and the better player of the match to win (which is often the case regardless of what I want).

        Like in the Novak vs Goffin match, if Novak had been the better and more inspiring player, I would have pulled for him, simply because he deserves to win in that case. And if Rafa is truly to be the deserving champion, he will take every player on his way down, Novak or not.

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  3. Michele

    Much as I do not like Federer, he has changed his game to meet new challengers, and it has paid dividends.

    Rafa does not seem willing/able to change his style. He could win more easily, and with less physical expenditure, if he played more aggressively. Those long, grinding rallies were fine when he was 20, but it’s taking too much out of him now. The match with Schwartzmann could have been less gruelling, and finished more quickly, if he had come to the net more. He made the opportunities to do so, and then stayed back. He is the best volleyer, and should make more use of this talent. Hate to say this, but Federer has shown the way.

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    1. Rafalite

      I would not assume Rafa could win more easily than he did against Diego. Diego is actually a pretty good player at this point, and Rafa won in two.
      Read my comment above to consider it is not all up to Rafa, opponents have found a very effective way of interfering with his game.

      Federer has not shown the way. He has shown the way for Federer, not for Nadal. They have very different styles and you don’t become an entirely different play in your 30s, or even at 18, beleive or not.

      Fed is slam bam thank you mam, he switched to a bigger racquet, switched coaches umpteen times, and learned how to take the BH sooner.

      Rafa has made changes, in case you didn’t notice. He has improved his BH, and has added way more variety to his serving, and increased his serve speed.

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  4. va4favre

    I never take a win for granted, after all, we have seen Murray, Stan and Novak upset these past two days. Several of the upsets were caused by players who had previous clay court matches under their belts. Rafa has not played any clay court matches unlike the previous three years. I was worried about Rafa playing fourth but it was his turn. It was cold and even most of the attendees left after the long previous matches. Rafa raised his game at just the right time. Good luck tomorrow!

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  5. mjus

    hi everbody,

    Anybody that thinks that rafa has the title in the bag is sadly mistaken.

    Rafa played not good today. I give diego a lot of credit for that. But also I once again saw a lot of short balls and also rafa serve very poorly. Next will be goffin. The belgium has the game to beat rafa on clay so the spaniard needs to play his a game. Problem with rafa is also his defensive style of playing. No agressive, no attacking, still waiting for the mistake of his opponent and not going for the winner.

    If rafa beats goffin. He will play ramos vinolas who played really well against murray and cilic or pouille who has a similar game as schwartzmann and has beaten rafa last year at the us open.

    And remember so far this year rafa played his worst matches in the finals. He played terrible against querry in acapulco and disastrous against federer in miami.

    So dont celeberate yet

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    1. I guess if you call runner up in THREE major championships “not playing good”, I’d have to disagree. Of course,we want him to win the championship, but then Federer also cheated in the Australian Open. The deliberate dirty trick of taking a FAKE “medical timeout” just when Fed was getting beat down. NINE minutes Mr. Goodie Two-Shoes was gone from the courts, while Rafa sat shaking his legs and waited and waited, and waited for cheater to come out. It wokred as Rafa lost in 3 sets which went to tiebreak. So he lost by a hair. Don’t underestimate Nadal.

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      1. Rafalite

        Fed is the master of the dubious MTO.
        My other Fav Fed “time-out” was when he withdrew from the ATP final against Djok (claiming a back problem) because he wanted to be fresh for Davis CUP the next week (which he had never won) knowing he would almost certainly lose to Djok in the London final.

        Nice!

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    2. Rainier

      Really, of course I’m glad for the win but I just can’t understand why anybody can say Rafa played good today because he won in straight sets or that with Novak out, he now has a clear path to the title for sure.

      The fact is, except for the a few games, Rafa played lousy today. And by lousy I mean by both his and the Top Ten’s standard. He’s lucky Ninja doesn’t really have much a weapon despite his playing inspiringly and agrressively with no fear. The inspiring player of the match is the loser, not the winner.

      I think Rafa needs a Goffin vs Thiem/Djokovic or Fed vs Berdych/Kyrgios-like match and to be able to come through that. He needs to refind the feel, the way to fight when facing BPs or multiple BP. He needs the feeling and confidence after being able to do that. I think since AO SF he hasn’t found that yet.

      There’re some inspiring and *truly” playing well players in the tournament so far but Rafa isn’t one of them. At least not yet. I can say this because I actually watched the other matches. And to me *how* a player plays is what matter the most, not always the win, except, well, the win in the final of course :p.

      This is only the beginning. The road is still very long and windy ahead. Rafa’s road or our fans’ “road”, I just hope we all can enjoy the game and the players (not just Rafa), be open-minded and can at least “accept” different opinions from ours, not to get carried away too much and take things way too personal and attack some players or other fans here.

      We are all Rafa fans. We all want the best for him. We all love the game (I suppose). That’s the most important thing. Doesn’t matter if some fans don’t see things like other fans. Doesn’t matter if they were or will be proven wrong. I think they actually were, are and will be glad to be proven wroong, because even when they don’t seem to be as “positive” as we (think) we are, they are just like us in that they REALLY care and only want the best for “our” Rafa.

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  6. Jason

    This year should be Rafa’s best chance to win RG since 2010. In 11, 12, 13, 14 he did win while Djokovic looked the favourite. In 15 Novak blew him off the court. Last year he was nowhere near his best and Djokovic would have eaten him for sure. Now, with Murray and Djoko both looking pale, danger comes mostly from new blood and the oldest rival. Rafa’s form is so so but could be enough for a sneaky 10th.

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  7. CanaDiana

    Vintage shot or not, we will snag that W! Congrats, Rafael. Fighting and feeling it again🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆❣️

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  8. I don’t like watching Diego he’s a bit of a lose cannon the way he slogs that ball with such fury, he made my heart pulpitate profusely, and those rallies got too much to bear, a wild and furious like match, I wondered if Rafa would make it even after winning the first set, he is one dangerous guy, but thrilled Rafa is into the semi’s well done Champ!

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  9. Gen

    I think RAFA played 1 million backhands today. Diego really played well. Anyhoooo, OUR boy won again. Determination beats cold weather and strong opponent.

    Congrats RAFA!!!!!!!! and all his fans

    Go boy

    RAFA fan forever.

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  10. Rafa_1310

    Not his best match today. Rafa has to play more aggressive. Than it’s very tough to beat on clay.

    Take rest and than good luck for tomorrow. Vamos Rafa ❤

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