Nadal Surpasses Vilas As Winningest Player On Clay

On April 24, 2017, in Sporting News, by Bud Thornton

rafa-nadal-spainYesterday, Spaniard Rafael Nadal won the Monte Carlo Masters 1000 for a record 10th time and became the tennis player with more titles on clay after overwhelming compatriot Albert Ramos in two sets 6-1 and 6-3.

The former world number one left Ramos, who was playing in his first Masters 1000 final, with no options to win.

Nadal, currently seventh in the world, was much more than Ramos thanks to a dominating 76 percent first serve effectiveness and winning 81 percent of the points in which he served.

With 50 trophies on clay, the 30-year-old Nadal, surpassed Argentine Guillermo Vilas as the winningest tennis player on clay.

Next week in Barcelona, Nadal will also look for his tenth win in that tournament a feat he will also try to achieve at Roland Garros when the French Open is held between May 28 and June 11.

Since the start of the “Open Era” in tennis in 1968, no one had won the same trophy 10 times, not even the legendary Swiss Roger Federer who has won 18 Grand Slam titles.

The premature eliminations of Briton Andy Murray, Serbian Novak Djokovic and Swiss Stan Wawrinka (ranked first, second, and third in the world, respectively) made the task to win back-to-back titles somewhat easier for Nadal.

Nadal defeated Belgian David Goffin, number 13 in the world, in two sets (6-3 and 6-1) on Saturday’s semifinal.

Ramos, for his part, defeated Lucas Pouille, the great hope of French tennis, by 6-3, 5-7 and 6-1, in two hours and 15 minutes. The young Spaniard had become the sensation in Monaco after beating Murray in the round of 16, and Croatian Marin Cilic (eighth in the world) in the quarterfinals.

Nadal only lost a final against Djokovic in 2013. That loss that snapped an eight-year winning streak in the Monte Carlo final, which he won between 2005 and 2012.

This was the first Spanish duel in the Moante Carlo final since 2011, when Nadal won against David Ferrer. Before that, Juan Carlos Ferrero defeated Carlos Moya in the 2002 final, and Nadal also did the same against Fernando Verdasco in 2010.

 

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