Rafael Nadal claimed an eleventh Monte Carlo Masters title with victory over Kei Nishikori.
The King of Clay won 6-3, 6-2 and it was his 76th title – his 31st ATP World Tour Masters title and his 54th clay-court crown. He became the first male tennis player in the Open era to win the same title 11 times — 13 years after his first title here.
Nishikori was chasing a first Masters title, but the Japanese player took 11 minutes to hold for 1-1. He got some brief hope, breaking Rafa with a superb passing shot at full stretch to lead 2-1, but meekly surrendered the next four games. The second set was a procession and Rafa won on his first match point with a stinging backhand winner.
I want to thank all my team and my family. We had some tough moments during the last five months after a couple of injuries in a row. It’s great to have a group of great people behind me. I can say thank you very much always for being there and supporting me when I really need it.
It’s always special for me to be back here, having this trophy. It’s one of the most important events of the year for me.
I want to congratulate Kei for a great week. It’s always difficult to be back from injury and I’m happy to see you again playing well.
Rafa has now won an ATP World Tour title for the 15th year in a row (since 2004). Ever since making his tour-level debut in 2003, our champ has compiled a 392-35 match record on the dirt – the best winning percentage of any player in the Open Era.
Sources: AP, ATP