Rafael Nadal battled back to win his first masters title since 2014 after overcoming Gael Monfis 7-5,5-7,6-0 in three sets.
This was Nadal’s 68th title in all, and one that always looked likely in the third set, given the suspect stamina of the telescopically-limbed Monfils. There were plenty errors on both sides but Monfils could not maintain his second-set comeback, which saw him break the Nadal serve an incredible five times. Nadal then took control of the decider and raced into a 5-0 lead before landing a forehand winner at match point to win for the ninth time in Monte Carlo as he builds to next month’s French Open, which he will be seeking to win for a 10th time.
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Nadal, who beat Andy Murray in the last four, won 7-5 5-7 6-0, his 68th victory from 100 finals on the ATP World Tour. He finished off the match with a brilliant running forehand and sank to his knees to savour the moment.”It has been a very important week,” said the Spaniard, 29. “The victory confirms that I am better.I had a tough season last year, but I’ve had better preparation this year, even with a tough start to the season,” said the world number five, who withdrew from last month’s Miami Open with a virus.It’s great to win a Masters title again. I hope this week will help me a lot.This is a special place for me,’ he said of a venue where he has won as often as at Roland Garros. Both suit him perfectly, being relatively quick with large playing areas around the court.It’s been a very important week for me. I feel much better in myself than the year before. You need to confirm that with results and the victory here confirms that I am better.It has been sometime without winning a big tournament so I am enjoying this moment. It’s an emotional moment after some tough times”.