It was a day of historical milestones for the number one ranked player, Rafael Nadal, as he won a record-setting 11th Monte Carlo Masters title on Sunday by defeating Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-2.
It began with a promising start for Nishikori in the 1st set when he broke Nadal’s serve to go up 2-1, but the King of Clay furiously broke Kei right back. Rafa was ruthless from that point on. Nishikori was only able to win 3 more games in the match. On match point, Nadal fired a winning backhand to take his 3rd consecutive title in Monte Carlo.
Despite losing, it was a good performance for Nishikori as he has been mounting a comeback from a right wrist injury that sidelined him for 5 months. For reaching the final, he will move up to number 22 in the world.
Nadal now leads the head to head matchup at 10-2.
With the win, Nadal breaks a tie with Djokovic for having the most Masters 1000 titles at 31 and becomes the first man to win 11 titles at one tournament in the Open era.
Nadal also retains the ranking of world number one, which had he lost, would have catapulted Roger Federer to the pinnacle.
It was an impressive week for Nadal and doesn’t leave his opponents with much confidence for the rest of the clay season. Rafa has now won 36 consecutive sets on clay and in those sets no one has won more than 4 games on him.
He will next try to defend his title at the Barcelona Open.
Featured image credit: The Guardian Nigera
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