Editor’s word: This story was initially printed on 13 April 2020.
For the reason that inception of the collection in 1990, solely six males have gained 11 or extra ATP Masters 1000 titles. A kind of males, Rafael Nadal, has remarkably achieved that feat at a single occasion.
The Spaniard has gained the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters 11 instances, matching former World No. 1 Pete Sampras’ haul throughout all Masters 1000 tournaments together with his dominant reign within the Principality.
Since his event debut as a 16-year-old in 2003, when he defeated reigning Roland Garros champion Albert Costa to achieve the third spherical, Nadal has constantly produced his finest tennis on the Monte-Carlo Nation Membership. The Mallorcan, who has gained 71 of his 76 matches on the occasion, gained an Open-Period document eight successive titles from 2005 to 2012 and an extra three straight crowns from 2016 to 2018.
ATPTour.com appears again at every of Nadal’s 11 title runs in Monte-Carlo.
2005: The Reign Begins
Two years after beautiful Costa on his Monte-Carlo debut, Nadal captured his maiden ATP Masters 1000 trophy within the Principality. After recovering from down a set within the semi-finals towards Richard Gasquet, who had defeated Roger Federer, Nadal met defending champion Guillermo Coria within the championship match.
Coria ended Nadal’s maiden look in Monte-Carlo with a straight-sets victory in 2003, however Nadal had improved his sport considerably since that assembly. The Spaniard battled to a 6-3, 6-1, 0-6, 7-5 win after three hours and 9 minutes to assert what was the most important title of his profession.
2006: A Traditional Closing
After a breakthrough 2005 season, Nadal returned to Monte-Carlo the next yr as World No. 2 and reigning Roland Garros champion. The Spaniard moved previous Coria and Gaston Gaudio to guide a ultimate conflict towards World No. 1 Roger Federer, whom he had crushed in three of their previous 4 ATP Head2Head clashes. Nadal efficiently defended an ATP Tour title for the primary time in a three-hour, 50-minute basic, triumphing 6-2, 6-7(2), 6-3, 7-6(5).
2007: Hattrick Full
After shedding to Federer within the 2006 Wimbledon ultimate and the semi-finals of the Nitto ATP Finals, Nadal earned the chance to as soon as once more face the Swiss on his most well-liked floor within the 2007 Monte-Carlo championship match. Nadal, who didn’t drop a set en path to the ultimate, continued his dominant show towards Federer with a break of serve in every set to carry the trophy for the third straight yr.
2008: A Trilogy Accomplished
Following straight-sets wins towards High 5 gamers David Ferrer and Nikolay Davydenko, Nadal met Federer on the Monte-Carlo Nation Membership for the third straight yr with the trophy on the road.
Nadal snatched the opening set with a late break, however Federer threatened to power a decider after racing out to a 4-0 lead within the second set. Three-time defending champion Nadal battled again although, taking the title with one other late service break to finish a powerful trio of ultimate victories towards his rival within the Principality. Nadal and Federer haven’t met in Monte-Carlo since that day.
2009: A New Chapter
Competing as World No. 1 in Monte-Carlo for the primary time, Nadal superior to his fifth straight ultimate on the event with out dropping a set. Within the championship match, he confronted Novak Djokovic for the primary time in Monte-Carlo.
Djokovic had already crushed Nadal at every of the Masters 1000 occasions in North America, however the Spaniard had gained every of their earlier six conferences on clay, shedding one whole set. Djokovic doubled that determine by forcing a deciding set in Monte-Carlo, however Nadal raised his sport to clinch his fifth title within the Principality. The match marked the start of a brand new chapter of their rivalry, with the pair assembly on three additional events on the event.
2010: Ruthless Rafa
When Nadal ends his profession, he could look again on the 2010 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters as essentially the most dominant event of his profession. The Spaniard entered the occasion on an 11-month trophy drought, relationship again to his 2009 Internazionali BNL d’Italia victory. However he solely dropped 14 video games throughout 5 matches to seize his sixth successive Monte-Carlo crown. Nadal beat Thiemo de Bakker, Michael Berrer and the Spanish trio of Juan Carlos Ferrero, David Ferrer and Fernando Verdasco to earn the trophy.
2011: The Greatest Of Spain
For the second straight yr, the Monte-Carlo ultimate was contested by the highest two Spaniards within the FedEx ATP Rankings. Nadal, who survived a three-set semi-final towards Andy Murray, met in-form World No. 6 Ferrer for the title.
Ferrer had dropped simply 17 video games to achieve his second Masters 1000 ultimate, however Nadal battled previous the person who ended his bid for a non-calendar Grand Slam three months earlier on the Australian Open with a 6-4, 7-5 victory.
2012: Ending The Streak
After straight-sets wins towards Stan Wawrinka and Gilles Simon, Nadal entered the 2012 Monte-Carlo ultimate in search of to finish a seven-match shedding streak towards World No. 1 Djokovic. Assembly for the primary time since their epic five-hour, 53-minute Australian Open ultimate that January, Nadal charged previous Djokovic 6-3, 6-1 in 79 minutes to carry an Open Period document eighth straight title at a single ATP Tour occasion.
2016: Again In The Winners’ Circle
4 years after selecting up his eighth title in Monte-Carlo, Nadal returned to the opening clay-court Masters 1000 occasion of the yr aiming to carry his first title in eight months. The Spaniard moved previous 22-year-old Dominic Thiem and Stan Wawrinka earlier than rallying from a set down to beat Andy Murray within the semi-finals.
With assist from French followers within the stands, his ultimate opponent, Gael Monfils, showcased his unbelievable shot-making potential and defended properly to power Nadal right into a deciding set after greater than two hours. However Nadal continued to belief his baseline sport and wore his opponent all the way down to clinch his ninth Monte-Carlo trophy.
2017: Historical past Maker
After a first-round scare towards Kyle Edmund, Nadal superior to his eleventh Monte-Carlo ultimate with victories towards Alexander Zverev, Diego Schwartzman and David Goffin. For the third time, a fellow Spaniard awaited Nadal within the ultimate. Albert Ramos-Vinolas secured three-set victories towards World No. 1 Andy Murray, Marin Cilic and Lucas Pouille to achieve his first Masters 1000 championship match.
Like Verdasco and Ferrer earlier than him, Ramos-Vinolas had no reply to the Mallorcan’s sport on Courtroom Rainier III. Nadal served with confidence all through the 76-minute encounter to win 6-1, 6-3 and transfer away from Guillermo Vilas with a record-breaking fiftieth tour-level clay court docket title.
2018: Dominant Show
In 2018, no participant gained greater than 5 video games towards Nadal in Monte-Carlo. The Spaniard breezed by means of the draw, claiming wins towards Aljaz Bedene, Karen Khachanov, Thiem and Grigor Dimitrov to achieve his twelfth ultimate on the Monte-Carlo Nation Membership.
Within the championship match, Nadal broke Kei Nishikori on 4 events to grow to be the primary man within the Open Period to win a single occasion 11 instances. It was the fifth time Nadal gained the event with out dropping a set (2008-’10, ’12), which prolonged his career-best set-winning streak on clay to 36. Nadal’s units gained streak reached 50, earlier than Thiem beat the Spaniard within the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open quarter-finals.