Nadal Takes A Record Fifth Consecutive Monte-Carlo Masters Win
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - Spain's No.1 world ranked Rafael Nadal (left in photo) won his fifth consecutive title (6-3, 2-6, 6-1) against the No. 3 ranked Novak Djokovic of Serbia (right) at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters 1000 in Monaco today. Nadal was very pleased to win again in Monte-Carlo and said that for him it is one of the most important tournaments on the ATP circuit for its history and the that it was a dream come true right from the moment he first arrived in Monaco to compete there in 2003.
Nadal put up a strong offence in the first set, winning it (6-3) against a Djokovic with relative ease. In the second set it was a different story, and the tables were turned as Djokovic brought his game together and attacked every element of Nadal's ability with served aces, a strong forehand and backhand, and an incredible drop shot. Nadal said in his post-game news conference after the match that in the second set Djokovic started to play well and he played a bad game. He said, however, that he belived that Novak's best game against him was actually last year at the Hamburg tournament finals.
In the third set of today's match, Nadal turned on the heat from the start of the first game, and he played each game point with determined energy, driving through a take all points strategy in his game plan. In the first game of the third set he pulled off an incredible return drop shot to a very difficult to hit drop shot delivered to him by Djokovic. It was probably the match winning shot, because thereafter Djokovic lost some of his concentration and drive to win after the sheer skill and awesome energy delivered by Nadal's return.
From a mental perspective, Nadal said he pulled his game together by the start of the third set and thereafter he was just focused on the win and felt good. When asked if there was something he needed to improve upon for upcoming matches, Nadal said that in today's match some of his serves were just 120 km/h which is a disaster, and that he would need to work on this crucial element next week in training. Nadal said he thoroughly enjoys playing in Monte-Carlo for the history of all of the famous players that have played there, and the ambiance that the city delivers whenever he is in town.