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Rafael Nadal vs Guido Pella | Monte Carlo Masters

Guido Pella is playing the best tennis of his life. The 28-year-old, who became a first-time ATP Tour champion at Sao Paulo in March, is into the quarter-finals of an ATP Masters 1000 tournament for the first time.

But the lefty knows that his next test at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters will arguably be one of the toughest he has ever faced, as he gets set to play 11-time champion Rafael Nadal.

“He’s one of the legends of tennis,” Pella told ATP Tennis Radio. “He’s a very special player and to play against him in any tournament is a very special feeling. But I think here in Monte-Carlo, centre court is going to be an amazing atmosphere. Of course the crowd is going to be behind him because he’s the favourite.”

It won’t be the first time Pella has stood across the court from the second seed, having done so at Indian Wells two years ago and Roland Garros last season. In order, Nadal has won their five FedEx ATP Head2Head sets 6-3, 6-2, 6-2, 6-1, 6-1. The Spaniard has won 23 consecutive sets on Court Rainier III in Monaco, without any of those sets getting extended past 6-4.

He told the ATP: “Yeah, Guido’s playing great. He had some great victories here and he will be with big confidence.

“So I hope to be ready to keep playing well. I know it’s going to be a tough one but I’m in the quarter-finals and that’s great news after the injury.

“To be back on the tour and be able to play this level of tennis is great news.”

Rafael Nadal is through to the Monte Carlo quarter-finals (Image: REUTERS)

“I need to do the perfect match to have a chance,” Pella said. “I hope to keep playing like this because I am feeling very good, I am feeling very confident in my game. If I play like this, maybe I will have a chance.”