France: Rafael Nadal continued his smooth run as he beat Gael Monfils 7-5, 5-7, 6-0 to lift his ninth Monte Carlo Masters title on Sunday.
Nadal had cruised into the finals with a win over Andy Murray in the semis where the Spaniard had come from behind to secure a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory over the Scot in a thrilling semi-final clash that lasted for two hours and 43 minutes.
The victory in the finals of Monte Carlo Masters is his 68th win from 100 finals on the ATP World Tour.
Monfils’ double fault towards the end of the first set wrapped it in Nadal’s favour. The French bounced back in no time to take the second set, levelling the match 1-1 to take it to the final set.
The ‘King of Clay’ then powered home in the third set giving the Frenchman no shot at glory whatsoever.
Nadal won eight consecutive titles before losing the 2013 final to Novak Djokovic and called his first Masters honour since Madrid two years ago ‘so special’.
“I had a tough season last year, but I’ve had better preparation this year – even with a tough start to the season,” Nadal said.
“It’s great to win a Masters title again. I hope this week will help me a lot,” he added.
Of the 34 break points between the pair, Nadal converted eight of his 21 chances to edge his opponent, who managed just five from 13.
Nadal then raced into a 5-0 lead before a forehand winner landed out of Monfils’ reach thus landing Nadal his ninth Monte Carlo trophy as he builds to next month’s French Open, aiming to win it for the 10th time.