Rafael Nadal wins record-extending 10th Monte Carlo Masters title
Rafael Nadal added yet another feather to his cap by clinching a record-extending 10th Monte Carlo Masters at the Principality of Monaco on Sunday. It turned to be a hassle-free affair for the 14-time Grand Slam champion, who had a pretty straightforward 6-1, 6-3 win over the 15th seeded Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain in the final.
Nadal thus became the first man in the Open Era to win any tournament as many as 10 times.
With this, the World No. 7 also surpassed the Argentine great Guillermo Vilas’ haul of 49 claycourt titles to become the most successful claycourt player with 50 on the surface.
This is Nadal’s 29th ATP Masters 1000 crown and his 70th career title overall. This is Rafa’s first title after winning the Barcelona Open for a record ninth time a year ago.
Dominant performance by the King of Clay
The King of Clay made his intentions clear right from the start as he dominated the proceedings from the outset. Ramos-Vinolas had lost both his previous meetings with his highly-accomplished countryman and this time too, there was no deviation.
Nadal broke his fellow lefty twice in a thoroughly one-sided opening set to grab it 6-1. The nine-time champion did not even face a single break point in the opener.
Ramos-Vinolas, who had ousted the World No. 1 Andy Murray in the pre-quarter-finals, made a better start to the second set as he kept it competitive till 2-2. However, his game cracked soon after in the face of the relentless onslaught from the fourth seed.
The 15th seed did have a slim chance with Nadal serving at 4-3. Ramos-Vinolas went up 30-0 on the Nadal serve only to see the defending champion dashing his hopes with a brilliant comeback in that game.
With the trophy in sniffing distance, the former World No. 1 pulled off a scintillating backhand down-the-line to earn his first match point on the Ramos-Vinolas serve which he squandered due to an unforced error. Nadal finally converted on his third match point when his opponent double-faulted.
Earlier in the day, Rohan Bopanna and Pablo Cuevas upset the reigning French Open champions Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez, 6-3, 3-6, 10-4 to win the doubles title.