The God's Given Lionel Messi - messilegend

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Claycourt King Is Back To His Throne

The claycourt king is back to his throne! Playing in his first major claycourt championship of the year, Nadal is set to extend his dominance in clay. Monte Carlo title is the first for many to come. Stay tuned!


Nadal on course for fifth consecutive Monte Carlo title
MONTE CARLO: World number one Rafael Nadal out-muscled Andy Murray yesterday with a 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) win which moved him to within one victory of a fifth consecutive Monte Carlo Masters title.

The Spanish claycourt king will take on Serbian world number three Novak Djokovic, who recovered to beat Swiss 13th seed Stanislas Wawrinka, the conqueror of Roger Federer, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3, to reach his first final in the principality.

Nadal leads Djokovic 11-4 in career meetings, including a Davis Cup victory last month and a 6-0 mark on clay.

The world number one has now won 26 matches at the Country Club since his only loss to Guillermo Coria in the third round in 2003.

He has now won 30 consecutive sets at the venue since dropping the second set in the 2006 final to Roger Federer and stands on 20 straight wins on clay dating back to May last year when he fell to Juan Carlos Ferrero in the second round in Rome.

Scotland’s Murray dropped to 2-7 against Nadal, whom he he beat in February’s Rotterdam final before losing the title match a month later at Indian Wells.

Murray saved a match point in the eighth game of the second set as he hinted it will not be all one-way traffic in future meetings with the Spaniard.

Nadal dug in to win after more than two hours in a tiebreaker on his third opportunity.
“Novak is a tough opponent and he’s been playing well,” said Nadal.

“I’ll have to be on my best game in order to beat him.

“It’s exciting to make another final, this is really my event and I’m really proud of my performance today.”

Murray still leads the ATP on 29 wins against just three defeats this season with three titles, the most on the circuit and one more than Nadal to date.

Wawrinka lost an early break in the final set, with Djokovic breaking back for 1-2 and securing a 3-2 lead which took him home after the 13th seed saved two match points.

Djokovic now leads their series 6-2 with his only two defeats against Wawrinka coming in 2006. The Serb beat the Swiss in the final of Rome 11 months ago.

“This is my first final at Monte Carlo,” said the winner, now 26-8 on the season.

“I knew I was the favourite coming in which is why I was a bit nervous at the start.

“He played well and was controlling the match. But I was able to play my style in the end and that helped.”

Djokovic’s win helps him fight off a charge from Murray in the rankings chase. with the Scot closing in on the 2008 Australian Open champion, who trails Nadal and Federer in the season standings. — AFP


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