There were huge stakes today for the mens final in Monte Carlo. Rafael Nadal was looking for his 8th consecutive title in Monte Carlo. Novak Djokovic was looking to beat Rafa in an 8th consecutive final and claim his 7th Masters 1000 title since 2011. If Novak won you got the feeling that Nadal could kiss the French Open goodbye.
Nadal was not willing to have the French Open taken from him and refused to let Djokovic claim a title on the court that has become the House Of Nadal. Rafael claimed his 8th Monte Carlo crown with a 6-3, 6-1 win.
Novak came out of the gates firing, briefly looking to be incredibly sharp given his shaky starts in previous matches.
Nadal’s loopy shots, which other players struggle to control, seemed to be giving Novak ample time to move around the court and prepare himself to strike lethal blow after lethal blow.
Suddenly Djokovic focus seemed to wane slightly and he started throwing in a few errors and the 7 time defending champion broke for a 2-1 lead.
Djokovic’s fluctuations were initially small but poorly timed. Despite some, at times, truly brilliant shot making from the Serb his depth of return was not as consistent as it has been in recent months, allowing Nadal to force himself forward.
With the help of some extra power on his serve and a growing error count from Novak, Nadal broke for a second time to take the first set 6-3.
Nadal looked increasingly hungry as Djokovic’s backhand began breaking down. Again Nadal broke early for a 2-0 lead as he focused on flattening his shots out and looking for more depth.
As Djokovic’s fluctuations became more of a permanent issue the crowd sensed that the Serbian had mentally checked out.
With Nadal serving at 4-0, the match seemingly all but over, Rafa got broken to love after a very average service game. He quickly recovered breaking back before sealing the championship with an ace.
With the victory Nadal resumed his position at the top of the champions who have claimed Masters 1000 titles with 20 to his name. Rafa has now won every single Monte Carlo tournament since 2005 when he was just 18 years old.