Rafael Nadal decimated Fernando Verdasco 6-0, 6-1 in the final of the Monte-Carlo Masters on Sunday. What an emphatic way to break an eleven-month long (singles) title drought.
A beat down over a top 10 opponent always makes an impression. But in case the scoreline isn’t impressive enough:
* Nadal is the first player in the Open era to win a tournament six times in a row.
* Rafa lost just 14 games in 5 matches at Monte Carlo, the fewest during a tournament in his career. He “bageled” three of his five opponents.
* 23-year-old Nadal is now even with Roger Federer at 16 Masters titles. Andre Agassi holds the record at 17 titles.
*This Monte-Carlo final had the fewest number of games played (13) in the history of the Masters tournaments. (Should we give Verdasco a break since it was, surprisingly, his first Masters final? Nah. . .)
It was a statement making win: After almost a year without a singles title – a year filled with knee injuries, physical therapy, his parent’s divorce, losing the number one ranking, Robin Soderling at Roland Garros and a sore wisdom tooth, Rafael Nadal is still the king of clay. He can dominate, intimidate and “kill” a match in cold blood. That small glimmer of hope his opponents were starting to feel on the hardcourts has dimmed to a pin prick.
Here’s another statement from Rafa (via ATP):
“For me [today] is very emotional,” admitted Nadal. “[It] is probably my favourite tournament. I love this tournament. [To] win here another time is a dream for me. The atmosphere here is unbelievable. I feel like [I’m at] home. No one match during seven years [have] I felt the crowd against me. I just can say thank you very much everybody.”
Speaking of statements, I’m guessing that’s aimed at Roland Garros. A few more shots of Rafa looking happy in Monte-Carlo:
The video highlights:
Some more talk from Rafa:
Fernando looking traumatized:
Now excuse me as I turn this into the weekend winners’ circle post:
Defending champs and top seeds Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic defended their doubles title in Monte-Carlo leading the team of Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi 6-3, 2-0, when Bhupathi retired with a leg injury.
On the WTA side, slammin’ Sam Stosur scored a Rafa-like 6-0, 6-3 victory over Vera Zvonareva at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston. The 52 minute final was the shortest in Charleston history. This is Sam’s second career singles title – and her biggest. Now that she’s got a Premier-level under her belt, could a major be next? Sam was a semi-finalist at Roland Garros last year and Sunday’s performance – where she dominated from all over the court – should put her on every journo’s “darkhorse” list at this year’s French Open.
It just cracks me up how Vera hides under the towel even during on-court coaching:
The first-time pairing of Liezel Huber and Nadia Petrova scored the Family Circle Cup doubles title, beating Vania King and Michaella Krajicek: 6-3, 6-4.
Blogging advisory: I’ll be on vacation for the next couple weeks, so blogging will be a little spottier than normal. Here’s hoping Myla and Charlene don’t take a wild card into the Stuttgart doubles!