Prince Albert & Princess Charlene present Nadal his trophy
Rafael Nadal conquered his 11thcrown this past Sunday, April 22, 2018, in Monte-Carlo in the presence of Prince Albert and Princess Charlene. This is the Spaniard’s record 31st ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown, that solidifies his top position as World No. 1 in the ATP Singles Ranking, and signals the continuation of his unchallenged unparalelled footprint at the legendary Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.
The Monte-Carlo tennis championship was first held in 1897, becoming an “Open” event in 1969. It was in 1990 that it became an ATP Championship Series Single Week tennis event. This 112thedition broke another record with more than 136,000 spectators. It is undoubtedly the most beautiful, entertaining and well attended Masters tournament, where spectators fill up the bleachers from the first day of qualifications until the finals. (Photo: Finals Trophy Ceremony Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters 2018 @Celina Lafuente de Lavotha)
The Spanish megastar, who boasts a 396-35 record on clay courts according to the FedEx ATP Performance Zone, beat Japanese Kei Nishikori in two straight sets 6-3, 6-2 in a one-hour and 33-minute final. We should not forget that this week Nadal was playing in just his second tournament of the season, after suffering from a hip injury in the Australian Open quarters against Cilic last January. He will be competiing in Barcelona next where he is a 10-time titleholder.
The undisputed King of Clay Nadal received his trophy from the hands of Prince Albert II of Monaco, and his wife, Princess Charlene of Monaco, to the loud cheers of the full crowd in Court Rainier III. He also gained 1,000 ATP ranking points for a total of 8,770 to this date, securing his distance from No. 2 Roger Federer who is tailgating the Spaniard with 8,670 points. Last but not least Nadal received the interesting sum of €935,385 in prize money.
ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Title Leaders
|Player||Masters 1000 Titles||Monte-Carlo Titles|
|(1) Rafael Nadal||31||11|
|(2) Novak Djokovic||30||2|
|(3) Roger Federer||27||0|
|(4) Andre Agassi||17||0|
|(5) Andy Murray||14||0|
Runner-up 28 year-old Kei Nishikori (ATP No. 22) challenged Nadal at the beginning of the first set, resulting in a balanced exciting match where Kei’s fans really thought he could have a chance in winning. But he later started to look drained and exhausted, committing more mistakes, while Nadal remained very strong, was flawless in his shots and kept bombarding Nishikori until the final victory shot.
Nishikori said after the match: “I knew it was going to be tough even though I was up a break. I kind of run out of gas, specially the second set. He makes every point and makes it tough. I think he was also playing great tennis. It was not easy to maintain my level till the end today.”
The Japanese, who could be Nadal again in the quarter finals at the upcoming Masters 500 in Barcelona, received €458,640 in prize money and earned 600 ATP Rankings points.
Nadal lost just 21 games in his five matches — against Aljaz Bedene, Karen Khachanov, Dominic Thiem, Grigor Dimitrov and Nishikori — this week at the Monte-Carlo Country Club, where he has a 68-4 record with 12 final appearances. It is the fifth time he has won the Monte-Carlo title without dropping a set (also 2008-10 and 2012).
American dynamic duo clinched 6thtitle in Monte-Carlo
In the doubles finals Bob Bryan & Mike Bryan claimed their sixth Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters doubles title, under the loud cheer of Prince Albert, friends and fans. They defeated the pair Oliver Marach / Mate Pavic 7-6(5), 6-3 in 79 minutes. The Bryan Bros keep advancing in the ATP Doubles Ranking, and working on their goal to get one of the eight spots at the Nitto ATP Finals at the O2 in London in November.
When receiving the trophy Bob Bryan told the public that part of their victory might have been due to a lucky charm they received earlier in the week. Bob admitted, “Thank you to Prince Albert in the stands there, he gave me a lucky coin on the first day of the tournament and he told me to keep it in my bag. It’s been good luck, so I will keep it in my bag for the rest of the year.” Prince Albert had interrupted his lunch and was watching the prize ceremony from the terrace of the restaurant, and saluted the Bryan’s happy with their achievement.
The Bryan’s split $289,670 in prize money with their record 116thtour level team title. They prove they have staying power, as they will be celebrating their 40thbirthday in a week. The Austrian-Croatian tandem shared $141,820 in prize money and earned 600 ATP Doubles Rankings points.
“Congratulations on a great tournament to the Bryans, I don’t know how you keep winning,”said Pavic, during the on-court trophy ceremony. “It was a great week for us.”
Marach added, “Well done guys, a great few weeks and I hope we can battle it out more this season. I’d like to pay credit to Mate, as I didn’t know we would play together this week and I hope you get better soon… This is one of my favorite tournaments, you all do a great job.”
Mike Bryan said, “Great job to Oliver and Mate this week as it’s been a great start to the season for you. Mate, I think you’re 24 and it’s your first appearance in Monte-Carlo, we’ve been playing here 20 years and we’re turning 40 next week, so you have plenty of chances to win the title here.”
“The glory is being happy, it is not winning here or winning there. They glory is enjoying practicing, enjoy every day, enjoying working hard, trying to be a better player than before.”Rafael Nadal
(Photo: Rafael Nadal, undisputed King of Clay, Rolex Masters Monte-Carlo 2018 @Celina Lafuente de Lavotha)