Monte Carlo : THE KING OF THE CLAY, yet again held justice to his title. Rafael Nadal, defeated his fellow compatriot to win his tenth Monte Carlo Rolex title in 13 years. The 14-time Grand Slam champion, had reached four finals year to date, lost two of them to the 18-time Grand Slam champion, Roger Federer, at the Australian Open and Miami, and one of those to Sam Querrey at Acapulco.
The ATP 1000 Monte Carlo Rolex Masters is the first title of the season for him, which is 70th career title, and the 50th clay court tournament title for him. He is closing in on Novak Djokovic in the Masters 1000 titles leader board (Djokovic at 30, Nadal at 29, and Federer at 26). It was the fourth time in the history of Monte Carlo Rolex Masters, and third time for Nadal, that it was an all-Spanish final. Nadal played the first in 2010 against Fernando Verdasco, the second in 2011 against David Ferrer, and the third one today, against Albert Ramos Vinolas. Nadal extended his perfect 14-0 record of never having lost to a fellow Spaniard in an ATP World Tour final.
As a gesture of marking history, the ball kids stood in a figure of “10” to mark the tenth victory of the champion in Monte Carlo. Nadal took only 76 minutes to dismiss Vinolas, 6-3, 6-1, to win the trophy. “It really is unbelievable,” said Nadal. “To win 10 times at such an important event like Monte-Carlo is something difficult to describe my feelings. Every year has been a different feeling. At the same time, it is always a unique moment, every time, I have this trophy with me. [Of course] there is a little bit of luck, lot of things coming together to win this 10th title in an event like Monte-Carlo.
“I feel lucky to keep playing tennis and being healthy all those years, in order to compete in one of the most beautiful events of the year, without a doubt. I am very happy to win another one. For me, it is a very important day in my career.”
The capacity crowd gave him a standing ovation as they witness history, while the Sovereign Prince of Monaco, His Serene Highness Albert II presented him the most historic trophy of his career. The finalist, Vinolas, now trails in the head-to-head, 0-3 against Nadal.
“I think that he was a little bit better in everything,” admitted Ramos-Vinolas. “When he’s a little bit better in everything, the difference is what we saw in the match. I also think I didn’t serve well, to be honest. I think he served really well today. Last time I played against him, I felt that on the return I had the opportunity to apply some pressure.
“It’s not easy to play a final against Rafa Nadal, to play with no sun today. He has a little bit more power than me in his game. Also, I think the cloud today didn’t help me. Obviously, I think that even if it has been sunny, I would have probably lost as well, but maybe it would have been a little bit different. To play a final against him today, it was not easy.”
Nadal didn’t lose a single service game today, and broke Vinolas’s serve 4 times, twice in each set. He got three match points as he played three deuces in the last game of the final set. Vinolas suffered due to his forehand errors the most, and got broken easily by Nadal. In the final game, Vinolas tried his best to take it, but failed, and with his only double fault in the final set, he lost the match.
Rafael Nadal is aiming for a tenth trophy at Barcelona next, after winning his tenth at Monte Carlo.