NADAL IS THE WINNER OF THE ROLEX MONTE-CARLO MASTERS 2018

by Romano Lupi MONACO. The king of the tournaments on clay hit again. Easy bet, because Rafael Nadal is at home at the Masters 1000 Monte-Carlo. On Sunday, April 22, 2018, the world No. 1 has won the final against the Japanese Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-2. Out of 12 finals in Monte Carlo, he lost only one, in 2013 against Djokovic, having triumphed eight times in a row, from 2005 to 2012. In 2013, the champion was beaten in the final, won by the Serb Djokovic, at that time number one in the world, 6-2, 7-6. In 2014, the tournament went to the Swiss Wawrinka, while Nadal did not get the semi-finals. After the Serb beat the Spaniard in the 2015 semi-final 6-3, 6-3, Nadal’s retaliation came, winning the tournament twice in a row in 2016 against the French tennis man Gael Monfils 7-5, 5-7, 6-0, and in 2017, when he defeated the Spaniard Albert Ramos Viñolas, 6-1, 6-3, in an edition enjoying an exceptional playing field, with the participation of 17 of 20 world’s best players, including No. 1 Andrew Murray, No. 2 Novak Djokovic, and No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka. Nadal was still the master of the place. And this year, he was again impressive: not a set dropped to an opponent in five games and an average of four games per round.

The Tournament’s director Zeljko Franulovic said: “Again this year 2018, and despite a rather delicate start to the season for some of them, we have welcomed 44 of the world’s best players, as well as most of the stars on stage.” In fact, in the top 10 of the world of this tournament in 2018, besides Nadal n° 1 worldwide, there was the Bosnian Marin Cilic, N.4 (seeded 2), who won 17 titles ATP in simple, including the 2014 US Open; Alexander Zverev, a twenty-year-old German, third in the world (seeded 3), and Dominic Thiem, N. 7 and seeded 5, a promising twenty-two-year-old Austrian; the Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, climbing the rankings regularly, N.4 seed and world N. 5, and finally the N. 10 worldwide, the Belgian David Goffin (seeded 6). In the top 20 seeds, the winner of twelve major trophies, Novak Djokovic, (seeded 9), who had just undergone a right elbow operation, was accompanied by Czech Tomas Berdych (seeded 12). ), the Spanish Roberto Bautista Agut (seeded 11), the Argentinian Diego Schwartzman “El Peque” (seeded 10), the Italian Fabio Fognini (seeded 13), Lucas Pouille, twenty-four-year-old and N. 1 of France (seeded 7), the Canadian Milos Raonic (seeded 14), Spain’s Albert Ramos Viñolas (seeded 15), and Adrian Mannarino of France (seeded 16). The two finalists’ routes were dotted with traps. In the Nadal round, Aljaz Bedene (6-1, 6-3), Karen Kachanov (6-3, 6-2), Dominic Thiem (6-0, 6-2), and Grigor Dimitrov (6-4, 6-4) have undergone the law of the master of the place.

The course was more complicated for Nishikori: the Japanese spent five hours more than Nadal on Monte Carlo’ courts, 10:19 against 5:17 hours. With the exception of the second round against Daniil Mevedev (7-5, 6-2), the Japanese played three sets against Tomas Berdych in the first round (4-6, 6-2, 6-1), against the Italian Andreas Seppi in the 8th (6-0, 2-6, 6-3), then against Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals (6-4-6-7, 6-3), as well as against Alexander Zverev in the semifinals (3-6, 6-3,6-4). With this win on Sunday, April 22nd in Monte Carlo, Rafael Nadal made his comeback. Aside from a Davis Cup quarterfinal, he had not been seen on the circuit since last January, after withdrawing in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, won for the sixth time by Roger Federer. It seems that the formidable Swiss champion, winner of 20 Grand Slams, currently 2nd in the world rankings, has decided to skip the season on clay, to better meet other challenges. Meanwhile, Nadal did not take long to regain his feelings on his favourite surface. On Monaco’s clay, he won his first title of the season, the eleventh in Monte Carlo, becoming the first man to win 11 titles in the same tournament, and the 76th of his career. Especially, beating Nishikori he recorded his 31st title in Masters 1000. Until his victory on Sunday, he shared this honour with Novak Djokovic. This title, which allows him to maintain the number one place in the world, and the way in which the Majorcan has dominated his opponents all week, already resonates as the promise of an eleventh victorious conquest at Roland Garros, which will take place at Paris from Monday, May 21st, to Sunday, June 10th. Former world N. 4 Nishikori, who dropped to the 36th place due to a wrist injury that kept him away from the courts for several months (from August 2017 until the end of January 2018), also played his first final of the season in Monaco.

The Japanese has been good enough, but like all the others, he has undergone the record-breaking man’s law on clay. He broke Nadal in the third game, he fought to snatch a game that lasted ten minutes and had a white game in the first set. With only 53% points won in that one, Nishikori could not have hoped for better. During the second set, Rafael Nadal gradually gained ground, chaining four games, before finally stifling his opponent, lining two breaks in a row and concluding his service. The Spanish player has signed four breaks, two in each set and, as we just said, one match point was enough. Thanks to this new victory on the Rock, Rafa Nadal inflates his total titles on clay at 53, he puts in cash almost a million euros, and among the many compliments, he received by the Tournament Institutional Partner, Société des Bains de Mers, the tribute of having named after him one of the suites of the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort! Last February, the tournament’s director, Zeljko Franulovic, unveiled the highlights of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters 2018 organized by the SMETT (Société Monégasque pour les Operations des Tournois de Tennis). After announcing the new name “Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters”, which highlights the close links between the tournament and its major Rolex sponsor, Zeljko Franulovic presented the poster of the 2018 tournament, created by the talented British artist Andrew Davidson, who has already designed the eight previous posters for the event. Helped by exceptional weather conditions, because after the rain fell in March once again the sun was up in Monte Carlo, the tournament recorded an unprecedented number of spectators. The event was sold out from Monday to Sunday on the five competition courts, and there was an intense week on both the court and around. There was plenty of entertainment, such as the Kids’ Day on Sunday, April 15, the traditional Grand Night of Tennis, which took place at the Salle des Étoiles on Friday night April 20, and the players’ private party, which is an exclusive of the tournament for nearly 60 years. Finally, by renewing its commitment in the sustainability’s area, the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters organized an exhibition match for the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, on the Rainier III Court, on Saturday, April 14, with the participation of the best Tournament players, all committed to protecting the environment. The tournament is a favourite of players and fans thanks to its long tradition of champions and its magnificent location, the Monte-Carlo Country Club, which offers one of the most spectacular panoramic views of the Mediterranean. The legendary Monte-Carlo Tennis Championship, founded in 1897, now called “Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters”, is one of the major sporting events of international tennis. The first major tournament in the prestigious ATP World Tour Masters 1000, the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters 1000 is broadcast in 66 countries on 5 continents.

Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters 2018 Prize Ceremony – T.S.H.the Princes of Monaco with the eleventh times winner Rafael Nadal

 

 

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