Rafael Nadal will face Kei Nishikori in Sunday’s Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters final. It will be the 12th meeting between the Japanese and our champ and first of 2018.
Rafa has won nine of their 11 previous meetings, including two clay finals in Madrid (2014) and Barcelona (2016).
Date: April 22, 2018
Match time: 2.30 PM local time / 8.30 AM EDT – New York, Montreal / 1.30 PM BST – United Kingdom / 2.30 PM CET – Spain, France, Germany, Italy / 10.30 PM AEST – Melbourne. To convert to your local time, use this website.
Rafa on playing Kei Nishikori:
With Kei, we had a lot of good matches in our career. It’s going to be a tough match. I know I have to play at my best to keep having real chances of success. It is an important match for me tomorrow. But still, to be in the final already after a period outside of the courts is great news for me. Let’s try to be ready for tomorrow. Let’s try to play a great match and give me another chance.
Kei on playing Rafa:
Tomorrow is a different opponent. He’s been dominating like crazy this week. I know it’s going to be tough. For me, I think I’m improving every match. I feel very confident right now.
Rafa has been hitting very, very heavy, especially his forehand. His backhand also. He’s been playing very solid this week. I’m sure there is a way to beat him. But, to see him this week, it looks little bit difficult.
Rafa has dropped only 16 games in four matches this week, including two Top 10 victories over Dimitrov and World No. 7 Dominic Thiem.
This is the sixth time Rafa has not dropped a set en route to the Monte-Carlo final, and he has won this title four times without dropping a set (2008-10 and 2012).
Rafa has improved his lifetime clay-court win-loss record to 395-35 (.919), and is 67-4 at Monte-Carlo, where he now aims for his 11th title in 12 championship match appearances (his only prior final-round loss was to Novak Djokovic in 2013).
The Spaniard is currently tied with Djokovic for the most ATP Masters 1000 titles, with 30 apiece, and is one match-win away from claiming the lead outright with a 31st trophy.
GOOD LUCK & VAMOS RAFA!
Source: ATP World Tour