Djokovic Stops Nadal Streak at Monte Carlo Masters

by John on April 21, 2013

Nole & Nadal

Top-ranked Novak Djokovic made sure eight is enough for Rafael Nadal. Djokovic ended the Spaniard’s run of eight straight titles at the Monte Carlo Masters earlier today, defeating Nadal 6-2, 7-6 (1) in the final of the opening tournament of the European clay-court season. For Nadal, ranked No. 5, the loss ended a 46-match winning streak at the storied Monte Carlo Country Club. “I cannot be happier than I am at this moment, knowing what I’ve been through the whole week … trying to recover and make my decision to play,” said Djokovic, who earlier in the week was still waffling on whether or not to participate in the tournament after injuring an ankle in Davis Cup competition two weeks ago. “If somebody had told me 10 days ago that I’d be winning the trophy, I wouldn’t have though it was realistic.” Djokovic avenged losses to Nadal in the finals at Monte Carlo in 2009 and last year, while winning his 14th ATP Masters title. The 25-year-old Serb raced to a 5-0 lead in the opening set, dropping just 12 points. Nadal salvaged some respect by breaking in the seventh game, but Nole broke right back, converting his eighth set point when Rafa hit a double fault. Nadal regained the momentum early in the second set, pressuring Djokovic on his serve and breaking through in the fifth game. Nole got the break back in the eighth game and the two traded breaks in the 11th and 12th games to force a tiebreaker. Djokovic was dominant in the tiebreak, controlling the baseline rallies and clinching the victory with a forehand down the line. “I knew after yesterday’s match that I had a feeling that I had a big chance to win against Rafa if I was on the top of my game,” said Djokovic, a 6-2, 6-1 winner over Fabio Fognini in Saturday’s semifinal. “The first six, seven games, eight games, were unbelievable. It’s the best that I can play on clay. It’s the only way you can win against Rafa.” Djokovic improved to 15-19 against Nadal overall and 3-12 on clay. Nole hit 25 winners to 18 for Nadal and committed just 22 unforced errors to 35 for the Spaniard. Djokovic won 22 of the 35 rallies lasting 10 shots or more. “It’s no tragedy. I lost after eight years without losing here. That’s the normal thing,” Nadal said matter-of-factly.





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