Rafael Nadal has finished runner-up in his 9th final at the Monte Carlo Country Club.
Rafa, who became the first player to win the same tournament eight time in a row, had enjoyed a 46-match winning streak at the claycourt Masters event before world number one Djokovic ended the run to win his first title at the principality.
Rafael Nadal: “Last year was especially hard for me, but I had the support of my team and my fans. That was a very positive energy for me and gave me motivation to play here again.”
“It’s no tragedy. I lost after eight years without losing here. That’s the normal thing. I think it was a positive week. I just practised here before the tournament. With not much practice, I was able to play the final. Even if it’s true that he started strongly, my feeling was that 4-0 was too much. He was playing great, yes, probably better than me, but I had that feeling that I was not playing that bad,” added the Spaniard, who took a month-long break before the tournament after winning three titles following his return from seven months out with a knee injury. I need to put in a little more physical performance. That’s the real thing, play all the points with the same intensity.”
Next up for Rafa is his “hometown” tournament, Barcelona Open. The ATP World Tour 500 event will be played in Barcelona from April 21 until April 28, where the 7-time champion will defend the title he won beating David Ferrer 7-6 (7-1) 7-5.