Archive for the 'Monaco Masters' Category


“Rafa is incredible on clay. I mean, he’s everywhere at the same time. He’s the best player on clay in history,” declared beaten finalist Ferrer.

Rafael Nadal reigned supreme at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters for the seventh year in a row on Sunday as he defeated fourth seed David Ferrer 6-4, 7-5 in an all-Spanish final at the Monte-Carlo Country Club. Nadal was presented with the trophy by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, his fiancé Charlene Wittstock, and President of the tournament committee Elizabeth-Ann de Massy.

“It’s really emotional and unbelievable for me,” said Nadal. “[To] start the clay season like this is fantastic, but [it] is fantastic winning Monte Carlo another time. Probably is a tournament that in the category of [ATP World Tour Masters] 1000 tournaments is the one that I feel more emotional when I am playing for the history of the tournament because here in 2003 everything started. “[To] win seven times in a row any where is almost impossible I think. But to win Monte Carlo, all the best players in the world are here, you always have tough matches, is impossible to imagine for me. So I am very lucky, I think.”

Since making his debut with a third-round exit to Guillermo Coria in 2003, Nadal has gone on to win a staggering 37 consecutive matches in Monte-Carlo and owns a 39-1 record at the first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court tennis tournament of the season.





“I’m feeling a lot better about tennis,” declared Murray

Andy Murray returned to the winners’ circle on Wednesday at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters as he defeated Czech wild card Radek Stepanek 6-1, 6-4 in his opening second-round match on Court Central. The 23-year-old Scot had not won a match since finishing runner-up to Novak Djokovic in his third Grand Slam final at the Australian Open in January, suffering opening-round losses in Rotterdam (l. to Baghdatis), Indian Wells (l. to Young) and Miami (l. to Bogomolov Jr.) Murray returned to form with an impressive performance against the 32-year-old Stepanek, only faltering once as he surrendered a break advantage at 4-2 in the second set. He had been near flawless in the first set with three breaks of serve and only two points dropped on serve, and recovered well from his blip in the second set, breaking Stepanek again in the 10th game to claim victory in one hour and 32 minutes.

The Scot will next face one of three remaining Frenchmen, Gilles Simon, after the World No. 24 defeated Spain’s Albert Montanes 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 33 minutes.

Seventh seed Jurgen Melzer and ninth seed Nicolas Almagro both came through testing encounters to set up a third-round meeting. Austria’s Melzer finished strongly to defeat Dutchman Robin Haase 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 in one hour and 31 minutes. Meanwhile, Almagro saved four match points to overcome Argentine qualifier Maximo Gonzalez 6-7(6), 7-5, 7-6(10). The Spaniard trailed 4-5, 0/40 in the third set before reeling off five straight points, and later saved another match point at 7-8 in the tie-break before triumphing in three hours.




“I’ve never even played a Challenger on clay, but I’m getting more comfortable by the match.

The 20-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., defeated Ernests Gulbis 6-4, 7-5 to advance to the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters tennis event Tuesday. The contest between two of the game’s top young guns was another stern test for Raonic, who is playing in his first ATP event on clay. Raonic held his nerve in a struggle lasting just over 90 minutes, failing to serve out the win despite holding three match points. But he calmly broke his emotional Latvian opponent a game later before clinching the victory.

In fact, the 34th-ranked Raonic earned the victory in style with his eighth ace. He finished with 21 winners and registered breaks on all four of his chances against Gulbis, who is ranked 30th in the world and tossed his racket in frustration at times. “I’m still learning every day on clay,” said Raonic. “I’ve never even played a Challenger on it but I’m getting more comfortable by the match. “I have confidence and believe I can win. But I have to keep control of myself. I have a good team of people around me who make sure I do that. I won’t want my ego to get ahead of my tennis, that will only slow my progress.”

Raonic will play the winner of the match between Spaniards Feliciano Lopez and fourth-seed David Ferrer. Raonic lost to Ferrer in the fourth round of this year’s Australian Open.



“I showed a lot of willpower, I had a good attitude, and I was aggressive,” he said afterwards.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had to come from a set down to get the better of Juan Monaco at the Monte Carlo Masters on Monday. Tsonga lost the first set 6-4, but hit back to win the next two 6-3 6-2. “I think there are many things I liked in my game today, and I played a very good match.”

Tenth-seed Mikhail Youzhny was an early casualty, losing in three sets to Florian Mayer. The Russian, a semi-finalist in Marseille in February, went down 6-3 2-6 6-3 as German Mayer continued his recent fine form which saw him reach the round of 16 in Miami last time out.

Nicolas Almagro, seeded nine, beat Marcel Granollers 6-3 6-3, 11th seed Viktor Troicki struggled in the first set before seeing off wild card Jean-Rene Lisnard 7-6 (7/4) 6-1 while Richard Gasquet (13) required three sets to overcome Denis Istomin 5-7 6-3 6-4.

Clay court specialist Tommy Robredo proved too strong for Ivan Dodig and there were also wins for qualifiers Olivier Rochus and Frederico Gil. Croatian Marin Cilic lost just six points on serve and broke his opponent five times as he crushed Italian qualifier Filippo Volandri 6-2 6-1, while Robin Haase ended a run of four succesive first-round losses with a hard-fought win over Nikolay Davydenko. The 24-year-old won the first set 7-5, lost the second 4-6 but won the game with a third-set 6-4 win.

Wild card entrant Radek Stepanek saved two match points to come from behind and beat Marcos Baghdatis. Stepanek saved match points at 5-6 and 6-7 in a third-set tie-break, before prevailing 3-6 6-1 7-6 (9/7). He will now meet Andy Murray.


The day’s other games saw Jarkko Nieminen beat Julien Benneteau 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7/3) and Daniel Gimeno-Traver get the better of Santiago Giraldo 7-6 (7-4) 7-5.



Rafael Nadal wins the Monaco Masters for 6th time in an awesome display of clay court tennis!.

There are no words left to describe how good Rafael Nadal plays on red clay! If there was any doubt left in anyone’s mind that he is by far the best ever, then they must have been born on a different planet or did not witness the clay court exhibition he gave for 6 days in Monte Carlo.

In today’s final he destroyed Fernando Verdasco 6-0, 6-1, and while it may be of no consolation to Verdasco, Nadal did the same thing to Ferrer and Ferrero on his way to winning his 6th. Monaco Masters title.

Roger Federer must feel fortunate to have finally won his first French Open title last year while Nadal was less than 100%, for on the current form of Nadal even the great Federer would have little or no chance of repeating in Paris.

As Nadal continues on his European clay court tour, culminating at Roland Garros in just 36 days from now, he will defend his titles at each venue, amass more points and find himself on the verge of once again being the #1 payer.

His presence on the tour, and his rejuvenation to a healthy player is the best news the ATP tour could receive.


An all Spanish final Nadal v. Verdasco in Monte Carlo.

Rafael Nadal produced a clay-court masterpiece to beat fellow Spaniard David Ferrer 6-2 6-3 and reach the final of the Monte Carlo Masters.

The world number three broke serve on six occasions and won 58% of the points on offer to secure a 75-minute success.

He will now face Fernando Verdasco, in tomorrow’s final bidding to win the title for the sixth time in succession. Verdasco defeated Novak Djokovic 6-2, 6-2 in one-sided match where the Serbian player could not hold his serve and peppered the court with error after error. For Verdasco it will be his first Masters 1000 final, and the first time since the 2009 Australian Open for a challenge to his compatriot Nadal.

Both nadal and Verdasco will earn at least 203,000 euros and 600 ATP ranking points, while Ferrer and Djokovic collect 103,450 euros and 360 points.


Djokovic on a collision course with Nadal in Monte Carlo.

Rafael Nadal coasted through to the semi-finals of Monte Carlo Masters with a 6-4 6-2 win over Juan Carlos Ferrero.

It extended Nadal’s unbeaten run in the event to 30 matches as he seeks his sixth successive Monte Carlo title.

The second seed now plays David Ferrer, who reached the last four for the first time with a hard fought 7-5 7-6 (7-1) win over German Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Serbia’s number one seed Novak Djokovic reached the last four with a 6-2 6-3 win over Argentine David Nalbandian.

And in the final quarter-final, Fernando Verdasco plays Albert Montanes.

Nadal’s match was delayed for 50 minutes in the opening set by light rain, but he quickly secured a break for 5-4 and served out to clinch the first set.

The Spaniard started the second set with a break, and a fine crosscourt forehand winner saw him break again for a 4-1 lead.

Though Ferrero saved two match points in the penultimate game with some unlikely angles, Nadal completed victory in 95 minutes.

Ferrero, one of the most feared clay-court players before the advent of the masterful Nadal, won this title in 2002 and 2003, and prepared for this year’s tournament with back-to-back clay titles in the Americas in February.

It was only his second defeat on clay this year against 17 victories but Nadal, who now has 19 clay-court wins and four defeats in 2010, took his record over the 30-year-old to 5-1.

Ferrer, the 11th seed, served for the match at 5-4 against Kohlschreiber but the world number 33 broke back and the second set went to a tie-break.

However, Ferrer dominated that and the match ended when his opponent misfired a routine backhand into the stands as the skies faded to grey.


Spain’s clay court dominance in evidence in Monte Carlo!

Five of the eight quarter finalists are from Spain! Fernando Verdasco will meet his Spanish compatriot Albert Montanes in the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters quarter-finals on Friday. Verdasco has a 3-0 record over Montanes, with their last meeting coming in June 2009 at The Championships, Wimbledon.

Madrid resident Verdasco beat No. 10 seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 in two hours and 34 minutes on Thursday. It was his third win in 10 meetings (Berdych leads 6-4) and first for 12 months since the Barcelona Open BancSabadell.

Montanes recorded just the fourth Top 10 victory of his career (4-20) Thursday, to reach an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarter-final for the second time. Montanes hit top form, converting four of eight break points opportunities, to knock out World No. 9 Marin Cilic of Croatia 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 37 minutes.

Rafael Nadal gave his German opponent Michael Berrer just one game as he won 6-0, 6-1, while another Spaniard David Ferrer took out Ivan Ljubicic 6-0, 7-6.

David Nalbandian managed to defeat one Spaniard, as he won 6-3, 6-4 over Tommy Robredo, and joined another non-Spaniard, Novak Djokovic in the quarter finals as the Serbian player defeated Wawrinka 6-4, 6-4.


Murray is humiliated by Kohlschreiber in Monaco.

Andy Murray entered the Monte Carlo Masters to gain some much-needed practice on the red clay before the start of the French Open. He was seeded third behind Djokovic and Nadal, in what he hoped would be an easy route to the semi final. There’s an expression which described his pathetic performance as he was trounced 6-2, 6-1 by Phillip Kohlschreiber, and that is ‘a fish out of water’.

If he can only manage to win 3 games against the #33 player, what chance does he have against the likes of Rafael Nadal?

Murray lived up to his recent admissions that he has fallen out of love with tennis, as he showed no interest in the match. It would be a waste of time to list all his faults on court, the score reflects his performance. He might be in a race with Ana Ivanovic to see who can slide the furthest down the rankings if he continues along this path.

Novak Djokovic joined five Spaniards, Rafeal Nadal, Juan Carlos Ferrero, David Ferrer, Tommy Robredo and Albert Montanes in the third round early on a sun-kissed Wednesday in the principality.


Cilic and Verdasco advance in Monaco.

Marin Cilic became the first player into the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters with a battling win over Russia’s Igor Andreev.

Croatian Cilic, one of eight top seeds to receive a first-round bye, was caught cold in the first set as Andreev won on a tie-break, but rallied for a 6-7 (4/7) 6-1 6-4 triumph in two hours and 51 minutes.

Sixth seed Fernando Verdasco also moved into round three with a one-sided win over Frenchman Julien Benneteau.

Spaniard Verdasco forced five breaks of serve as he eased to a 6-2 6-1 triumph in just 74 minutes.

Today’s remaining second-round ties see fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga take on Nicolas Almagro and 10th seed Tomas Berdych meet Richard Gasquet.

In first-round action, 12th seed Tommy Robredo of Spain was a 6-3 6-3 winner over Horacio Zeballos of Argentina, while Stanislas Wawrinka, the 13th seed from Switzerland, beat Romania’s Victor Hanescu 6-2 6-4.

Fifteenth seed Jurgen Melzer of Austria defeated Paul-Henri Mathieu of France 6-3 6-2, while Thiemo de Bakker of Holland set up a second-round clash with second seed and reigning champion Rafael Nadal with a 6-3 7-5 victory over Eduardo Schwank of Argentina.

Florent Serra will face top seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia in round two after emerging with a 7-6 (8/6) 3-6 6-4 victory from his all-French encounter with Stephane Robert, while fellow Frenchman Michael Llodra is also through after beating Italy’s Fabio Fognini 6-3 6-3.

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