Rafael Nadal secured his ninth Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters title after the Spaniard overcame France’s Gael Monfils in a three-set final on Court Ranier III at the Monte-Carlo Country Club today.
Monfils, who had become the first Frenchman to reach the final since Cédric Pioline claimed the title in 2000, produced a strong display in the opening set of the match to threaten an upset.
The crowd favourite responded superbly to falling 3-1 behind in the opener by immediately breaking back, but proved unable to stop Nadal from claiming the set after faltering at 6-5 down.
An unforced error saw Monfils finally succumb to Nadal, with the Spaniard finally converting his sixth break point to move a step closer to winning the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event.
The second set proved to be equally close as both men struggled to hold their serve, with five breaks achieved.
Monfils was able to claim the decisive final break of serve to take a 6-5 lead, before maintaining his composure to consolidate his advantage and take the set 7-5.
However, the Frenchman could not maintain the high standard in the decider as fatigue took its toll, with Nadal eventually cruising to a 7-5, 5-7, 6-0 win.
“It has been a very important week for me,” said Nadal, having sealed his triumph in front of the watching Prince Albert II and his wife, Princess Charlene of Monaco.
“The victory here confirms that I am better and I am very happy.
“Probably Monte Carlo is one of the most important places in my career without any doubt.”
The victory saw Nadal claim the title for the first time since 2012, when he had triumphed at the clay court tournament for an eighth consecutive year.
Nadal will seek to maintain his form ahead of the French Open, where he will attempt to win the Grand Slam tournament for the 10th time in his career.
- By Michael Pavitt
- Republished with permission insidethegames.biz