Sunday, 23 September, 2018


Rafael Nadal Does It Again, Wins 11th Career Monte-Carlo

TWITTER  GETTYRafael Nadal is positive about Novak Djokovic playing at the Barcelona Open TWITTER GETTYRafael Nadal is positive about Novak Djokovic playing at the Barcelona Open
Noah Ferguson | 24 April, 2018, 08:54

"This is one of the most important ones in terms of [my] personal feeling".

The 31-year-old saw off Nishikori 6-3, 6-2 to become the first man to win a single tournament 11 times in the Open era with his 76th ATP Tour title.

Rafael Nadal continues to top the ATP rankings.

The win over Roland Garros semifinalist Dominic Thiem was perhaps the most impressive of the week and was the first real indication that we may see Nadal dominate the clay court events once more.

However, Nadal had other ideas and broke straight back on his way to winning five of the next six games, the 31-year-old then breaking Nishikori twice more in the second set to seal a 31st Masters 1000 title, one more than Novak Djokovic.

It was the start of a remarkable ascendancy for Nadal in becoming the best clay-court player of all time, underlined by more than 50 titles on his favorite surface and including 10 French Opens, both of them records.

"I know the day to say goodbye is closer than 10 years ago". So just enjoying every day and trying to play with the best attitude possible, to keep being happy playing tennis, no?

Speaking at the presentation ceremony on court, Nadal said: "I want to congratulate Kei for a great week". Roger Federer has chose to skip the clay court swing, and former Roland Garros finalist Andy Murray is recovering after undergoing hip surgery, so the path is clear for Nadal to make a real attempt at going unbeaten for the whole of the swing. I was having tough moments all this week. "It wasn't easy physically". Nadal immediately restored parity, although Nishikori was enjoying success with some pin-point forehands.

"It was a great week for me; I had an injury and couldn't play for a long time, " said Nishikori, whose ranking has slipped to 36. He can take encouragement from beating Tomas Berdych — the 2015 runner-up here — and Australian Open runner-up Marin Cilic on the way to the final.

Prior to Monte Carlo, Nadal had not appeared in full tournament since the Shanghai Masters in November 2017 due to injury concerns.

Nadal will now turn his attention to upcoming bids for 11th titles in Barcelona and at the French Open.

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