Saturday, 19 October, 2019

Rafael Nadal eyeing to build on 11th Monte Carlo title

Bob and Mike celebrate winning the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Bob and Mike celebrate winning the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters
Patty Aguilar | 24 April, 2018, 12:27

A 10th win in 12 matches against Nishikori wasn't, however, even when the Japanese player broke him for a 2-1 lead early on.

That costly error knocked the early aggression out of Nishikori´s groundstrokes, and Nadal sped through the next two games to take command of the first set.

Nadal will be favorite to win his 11th title when he begins his defense on Wednesday after his dominant display at the Monte Carlo Masters, where he claimed the title without dropping a set - losing just 21 games in total.

Nadal arrives in Barcelona where he has a superlative 53-3 record, but will be hard pressed to keep that up with the likes of Thiem, the talented Grigor Dimitrov and rival Novak Djokovic on court in Barcelona.

"This part of the season, all the events are so special for me, so I really enjoy playing every week and this week is not an exception".

"I know the day to say good-bye is closer than 10 years ago".

Speaking at the presentation ceremony on court, Nadal said: "I want to congratulate Kei for a great week".

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So can Nadal realistically go unchallenged, and most importantly, unbeaten in the clay court swing? Roger Federer has chose to skip the clay court swing, and former Roland Garros finalist Andy Murray is recovering after undergoing hip surgery, so the path is clear for Nadal to make a real attempt at going unbeaten for the whole of the swing. "My legs were very heavy today, playing three sets (for) three days in a row (before the final)".

Japan's Nishikori, the world No 36, was a game opponent throughout a gruelling first set.

Nadal won on his first match point with a stinging backhand victor, thrust both hands into the air and then jogged over to offer Nishikori a sympathetic hug. He can take encouragement from beating Tomas Berdych — the 2015 runner-up here — and Australian Open runner-up Marin Cilic on the way to the final.

The left-hander returned to action at the start of the month and won both his singles matches to help Spain beat Germany in the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup in Valencia.

Nadal won his 11th Monte Carlo Masters title on Sunday.

The 31-year-old will now turn his attention to upcoming bids for 11th titles in Barcelona and at the French Open.

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