Nadal claims record-extending 10th Monte Carlo title

Nadal claims record-extending 10th Monte Carlo title
Nadal claims record-extending 10th Monte Carlo title
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24 April, 2017

Ramos-Vinolas, who had upset number one Andy Murray and Marin Cilic in the best run of his career, knew he was outclassed on Sunday.

Nadal has beaten 29-year-old Ramos-Vinolas in their two previous clashes, both times on clay in Barcelona.

Ramos-Vinolas' only title was on outdoor clay in Bastad, Sweden.

The final for the first clay ATP 1000 Masters tournament of the season will be played today in Monte Carlo.

Besides winning 49 out of his 69 career ATP titles on clay courts, Nadal has suffered just one loss at Monte Carlo, to Novak Djokovic in 2013.

Perhaps last summer, there were some who wondered whether he could again become the man to beat after his dramatic withdrawal during the first week of the French Open with a wrist injury. Goffin was asked to replay game point after holding his serve for what would have been a 4-2 lead.

But ranked No9 at the start of 2017, he proved just how resilient and determined he is. There is no need for Hawkeye on the court and it is not used in the clay tournaments.

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"Well, listen, then I'm wrong but ..." Appearing in his first Masters final, the 15th-seeded Ramos- Vinolas saved three break points in his first service game and was 0-40 down in his next.

The world number seven had to fight back from a break down in the first set but went on to win it 6-4 in controversial circumstances. But here, he seemed in thrall to his compatriot, dropping into the baseline rhythm on which Nadal thrives.

"No, it's over there", Goffin tells Mourier, pointing to a mark to the left of the court.

The Mallorcan broke for 3-2 in the second set when Ramos-Vinolas sent a backhand long and from then on Nadal was unstoppable.

Nadal watched smiling as each of his Monte Carlo trophy presentations over the years was played on the big screen.

The Frenchman, however, played tighter in the second set, which he won after breaking decisively in the 11th game. After all, Barcelona and Monte-Carlo are two of Nadal's favorite events.

Nadal's 50 clay titles breaks the record he shared with Guillermo Vilas since April past year when he lifted his ninth trophy in Barcelona. Although the 15th-seeded Ramos Vinolas has never previously reached a Masters final and has won only one career title, he has good credentials on clay, having got to the French Open quarterfinals a year ago. Nadal's celebrations were somewhat muted, and he gave Ramos-Vinolas a sympathetic pat on the back at the net.


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