It could not have been more apt that Rafa Nadal’s first title of the 2017 season was the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, the tournament we at the Shanghai Rolex Masters like to refer to as our “sister tournament”.
Nadal claimed the title with the 6-1, 6-3 victory over countryman Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1, 6-3 in 76 minutes. Incredibly he has become the first man in the Open-era of the sport to win ten titles at the same tournament. The stats don’t stop there because this is his 50th clay title which sees him break the record he shared with Guillermo Vilas for the last year. On top of that, the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters is his 70th career title.
“It’s really unbelievable,” Nadal said. “To win ten times in such an important event like Monte-Carlo is something difficult to describe. Every year has been a different feeling. At the same, it’s always a unique moment every time I have this trophy with me.
“I feel lucky to keep playing tennis, being healthy all these years and to compete in one of the most beautiful events of the year. Very happy to win another one. It’s a very important day in my career.”
He has now win a title every year for the last 14 and improves his Monte-Carlo win-loss record to 63-4. The win also moves him up two spots in the rankings, to five.
Having saved two match points, Ramos-Vinolas double faulted on the third to hand Nadal the trophy.
Ramos-Vinolas was aiming to win his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title having never previously gone past the fourth round of a Masters 1000 event and his effort sees him climb to 19 in the world. He had put together the best week of his career as he came back from 0-4 in the final set to beat world No.1 Andy Murray and also scored wins over Marin Cilic and Lucas Pouille.
“Nobody likes to play a final and lose 6-1, 6-3,” Ramos-Vinolas said. “But I know how it is. I know that I have another tournament. I have to keep going. I will try to have my feedback with the good things I did this week. Not today, but maybe tomorrow I will be proud of myself, and I will restart again for the next tournament.”
The doubles title was won by Rohan Bopanna and Pablo Cuevas, their first as a team, they defeated Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez 6-3, 3-6, 10-4 in 74 minutes.
As for Nadal could this be the start of title double digits; he has also won Barcelona and Roland Garros nine titles each.