Rafael Nadal (L) and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina‘s run to the final of the Monte-Carlo Masters has helped his nation of Spain achieve a unique feat. The 22-year-old, along with Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz, has ensured that a Spaniard will feature in the final of each of the first three Masters 1000 tournaments of the season.
This is testament to the quality of the Spanish players on tour. Nadal made the final at Indian Wells in March before losing to Taylor Fritz. Carlos Alcaraz then made the final in Miami, where he beat Casper Ruud in straight sets. Davidovich Fokina has ousted a couple of top players on his way to the final in Monte-Carlo, including World No. 1 Novak Djokovic. He will face Stefanos Tsitsipas in the summit clash on Sunday.
Davidovich Fokina achieved another unique feat this week, becoming only the third player without an ATP title to his name to have defeated Djokovic since 2006. The other two players on the list are Chung Hyeon of South Korea and Filip Krajinovic.
Carlos Alcaraz, meanwhile, has had a tremendous season thus far with incredible performances at the Sunshine Double. Arguably the most talented teenager the sport has seen since Nadal, Alcaraz became the youngest man to win the Miami Open and the third-youngest to win any ATP Masters 1000 tournament.
Rafael Nadal is less than 1,500 points behind World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the ATP rankings
Rafael Nadal in action at Indian Wells against Taylor Fritz
Unable to participate in the 2022 Monte-Carlo Masters due to a rib injury, Rafael Nadal will drop 180 points this week when the ATP rankings are updated on Monday. However, he will still be within 1,500 points of Novak Djokovic, who is the current World No. 1.
The Spaniard will sit out the Barcelona Open but will hope to shrug off his injury in time for the Madrid Open at the end of April and the Italian Open in early May. Nadal has a lot of points to defend on clay this season and will be eager to get some much-needed match practice ahead of Roland Garros.
The French Open is just over a month away and Rafael Nadal will be keen to avenge his semi-final defeat at the hands of Novak Djokovic last year and win his 14th title in Paris.