Yesterdays defeat over the Frenchman Gael Monfils proved to fans, the world of tennis and probably himself, that Rafa Nadal is back to full fitness and is most certainly on-form.
Defeating Gael Monfils 7-5, 5-7, 6-0 in an enthralling final on Court Ranier III, with H.S.H. Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco, watching on, Nadal claimed a record-equalling 28th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown and his first for almost two years.
After Rafa Nadal's eight year domination at the Monte-Carlo Masters, where he raised the trophy each year from 2005 to 2012, he was finally toppled by Monaco's very own Novak Djokovic in 2013. Stan Wawrinka beat fellow Swiss countryman Roger Federer to hold the title in 2014, and Djokovic returned strong in 2015 to hold the Monte-Carlo Masters trophy once again.
2016 was Nadal's year once again again as he battled with Monfils for two hours and 46 minutes. Eventually dominating in the third set which he won 6-0.
"The victory here confirms that I am better and I am very happy... It's been a very, very emotional week for me, a very important event," Nadal said. "Monte-Carlo is one of the most important places in my career without any doubt. To win again here after three years is so special for me."
Nadal admitted that the last year had been hard for him, with worries over his form and if he would be able to return to the elite rankings. "Last year was a tough year," Nadal said. "The nerves that I had, I was anxious in the matches."
But the Manacor local, nicknamed the 'Muscles from Mallorca' and the 'King of Clay', has proved that he is a force to be reckoned with once again. Nadal now heads to his home country for the Barcelona Open, where he will be the top seed and find defending champion Kei Nishikori as his biggest rival.
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