Rafael Nadal won the Monte Carlo Masters for a record fifth (consecutive) time, beating Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final, 6-3, 2-6, 6-1. But Nole can go home satisfied, having pulled off tennis’ second-toughest feat – the first one being actually beating Nadal on the red stuff. But taking a set ain’t bad.
The final was good – a little up and down, but also competitive and exciting throughout. There were a few insane gets by Rafa, who was often brought to net by Nole’s dropshot. Here are some highlights:
So now it’s official – Nole’s “slump” is over, he’s bonded with his new HEAD racquet, and he’s solidified his claim to the No. 3 ranking (tho’ Rafa called him “top three or top four on clay”.) It’s the No. 2 spot that seems open for interpretation at the moment.
**UPDATE** – I had to add Uncle Toni’s take on the match. I love how Rafa’s coach/uncle is never quite satisfied (could he please sign on with Roger?):
“He played a good third set, but it’s obvious he must play better than this week. He was missing a little confidence in his game and you could see that his serve was incredibly weak. But it’s the first tournament on clay this season for him and I hope that with some more matches, it’ll get better. We know that there’s a lot of work to do before Roland-Garros. But he still won. It’s a very important tournament for us and to win for a fifth time is incredible.”
Congrats also to Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic for beating the Bryan brothers 6-4. 6-1 in the doubles final. I wonder if Mike and Bob were sad they missed the Bar-Be-Que.