Clay king Nadal slays Djokovic
Rafael Nadal returned to full clay-court form in spectacular style as he pounced on an emotionally depleted Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-1 to win an unprecedented eighth straight title at the Monte Carlo Masters yesterday.
The rout in 78 minutes with an ace on match point, came against a Serb opponent who was drained after learning of the death of his grandfather in Serbia this week.
Nadal was quietly celebrating the end of a nightmare after losing his last seven finals against Djokovic, who also beat Spaniard on “his” surface for 2011 trophies in Madrid and Rome. “I loved this tournament since I was a kid,” said Nadal.
Djokovic admitted that after winning three matches and coming from behind since receiving news of his family tragedy “I just didn’t have any emotional energy left in me. “I was there physically, game-wise I was playing OK throughout the week. But it was a bad day. If I wanted to have any chance of winning against Rafa on clay, I needed that extra gear, which I didn't have.
“Rafa always plays well on clay, it’s been like that throughout the years. Today he played just enough to win. I made a lot of unforced errors. I just wasn't there, I didn't play well.”