Appearing in the 100th final of his career, the former world number one Rafael Nadal defeated Gaël Monfils 7-5 5-7 6-0, claiming his ninth Monte Carlo Masters title and first in about two years at the venue. Nadal, who has been through a rough patch since 2015, hasn’t won a tournament in 2016 before this.
The Monte Carlo Country Club crowd cheered Monfils as he gave Nadal a tough time throughout the match. The “grueling” second set saw five breaks of serve between the two, with Monfils getting better of Nadal in this round. Eventually, the Frenchman succumbed to pressure, when Nadal took control of the deciding set to register his 68th victory from 100 finals on the ATP World Tour. “The victory confirms that I am better,” said Nadal.
Rafael Nadal, although not in the prime of his form, is back with this win that earned him his 28th Masters title, same as Novak Djokovic. The pair played brilliantly in patches with some bad shots on display as well. The media outlet contrasted the styles, strategy and demeanor of the two opponents. While Nadal resembled a “grinding, grimacing machine” Monfils betrayed his emotional and physical exhaustion with a smile.