Rafael Nadal closer to conquering his 10th crown in Monte-Carlo in all-Spanish Final on Sunday

Spanish won in doubles and singles advancing to semifinals

The program on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters got underway in Court Rainier III with the doubles semifinals between Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez from Spain versus the French pair of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, where the Spaniards claimed victory in two sets 6-1, 7-6(4) in a demonstration of pure clay expertise as they are characterized.

Spaniard Albert Ramos Vinolas, 15th seed, another a clay specialist defeated young French hope Lucas Pouille, 11th seed, in three sets 6-3, 5-7, 6-1. Ramos Vinolas will face countryman Nadal in his first ever Masters 1000 tournament final. It will be an epic battle of two left-handed players. Ramos Vinolas said: “My physical condition has improved, as well as my backhand and my mental state. It is true that after my quarterfinals at Roland Garros, I have gained in confidence.” While Lucas Pouille, was fair in complimenting the performance of his adversary by saying: “He played a very good match, has been doing well from the beginning of the tournament and is in great form. It was not really evident. He gave difficult balls to play. We can have a game plan but it is not always evident to apply it. He deserved this victory.” 

The second singles semifinals of the day was a highly anticipated Spanish-Belgian duel, and to add to the drama on the court, civil security planes were seen flying overhead due to a nearby fire. Defending champion Rafael Nadal won over Belgian David Goffin in two straight sets 6-3, 6-1 qualifying for his 11th final in Monte-Carlo and on his way to claiming his 10th crown. It is incredible that an arbitration incident with arbiter Cedric Mourier could definitely make David Goffin loose his concentration after an offensive debut, giving Rafa the chance to take charge and run with the match. “Nobody can say if that point completely changed the physiognomy of the match, explained Rafael Nadal. At 3-2 or 4-2 there are still many points to be won and I do not know what would have been the case. On the point itself, if the mark had been on my side of the court and in his favor, I would have given him the point because I am not a cheater. But it was on the other side and I was not going to go against the arbiter’s decision. That is the reason there is an arbiter.”

Prince Albert joined the fans to encourage the Monegasque team

In the second doubles semifinals the pair Rohan Bopanna (Ind) / Pablo Cuevas (Uru) defeated the duo of Romain Arneodo (Mon) / Hugo Nys (Fra) 6-4, 6-3. Prince Albert was in the royal box accompanied by Baronne Elisabeth Anne de Massy, President of the Tournament Committee, and her daughter Melanie Antoinette de Massy, encouraging the Monegasque team cheering loud with loyal fans who stayed to support them, saluting them with a standing ovation for reaching the semifinals. “We are frustrated because we could not develop our game as in the precedent rounds, regretted Romain Arneodo. But this week has been fantastic. Thank you for having been invited to participate and thanks to our Prince and Baronne de Massy pour their presence. It is a great pride.”

Program for Sunday, April 23, 2017 – Court Rainier III

11:30 – Rohan Bopanna (Ind)/Pablo Cuevas (Uru) vs. Feliciano Lopez (Spa)/Marc Lopez (Spa)

14:30 – Albert Ramos-Vinolas (Spa) vs. Rafael Nadal (Spa)

Today’s Quote

“The only way of finding a solution is to fight back, to move, to run, and to control that pressure.” Rafael Nadal


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