Alejandro Davidovich Fokina opens on how Rafael Nadal inspired his Monte Carlo run

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Alejandro Davidovich Fokina opens on how Rafael Nadal inspired his Monte Carlo run

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, 22, was watching the 2017 Monte Carlo final between Rafael Nadal and Albert Ramos-Vinolas and dreaming about one day putting up a strong run in the Princinapality. This week, Davidovich Fokina's dreams became a reality when he stunned world No.

1 Novak Djokovic en route to reaching his first Masters final in Monte Carlo. “Last year I did quarter-finals and I had to retire with no crowd, no nothing, you know, was like so sad,” Davidovich Fokina said. “This year I had my first match on the centre court already with full crowd.

You know, it’s different. For me it’s different to play here from the rest of tournaments, because I was watching TV every year, Rafa (Nadal) when he beat (Albert) Ramos-Vinolas (in the 2017) final, and I was, like, I want to be there one day playing with the top players.

“I had a lot of emotions playing here, because since when I was kid I was watching this tournament. It’s like just enjoying, and I’m so happy to be here and, you know, beating the strongest guys on tour right now, it’s like, Wow, I can be there”.

Davidovich Fokina: Beating Djokovic was a huge confidence boost

Djokovic was playing just his second tournament of the season and clearly far from his best. Davidovich Fokina took the advantage of Djokovic lacking matches and stunned the Serb 6-3 6-7 (5) 6-1.

After beating Djokovic, Davidovich Fokina also defeated David Goffin, Taylor Fritz and Grigor Dimitrov. “After beating Nole, you know, I took a lot of confidence in myself,” he said. “You don’t win every day (against) No 1.

“Then after that match, you have to manage good the feelings and the emotions. It was not easy to play the day after against David. He was playing very good. He won last week in Marrakech."