Nadal claims record-extending 10th Monte Carlo title

Nadal claims record-extending 10th Monte Carlo title

Novak Djokovic's preparations for his French Open title defence suffered another setback Friday when he was defeated by Belgium's David Goffin 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 in the Monte Carlo Masters quarter-finals.

Rafael Nadal landed a record 10th title at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters on Sunday to make ATP history. Also, this is the 50th ATP title on clay for mighty Spaniard and his 70th overall in a career, the first since Barcelona last spring.

It was Nadal's 50th career title on his favored surface, moving him one clear of Argentine Guillermo Vilas.

History and the record books were lined up against the world No24, Albert Ramos-Vinolas, when he took to one of the most handsome courts in the tennis tour, the centre stage of the Monte-Carlo Masters.

"I know that I had to defend nearly all my points at this beginning of the season", Nadal said.

It's been some time since Nadal last reigned as the dominant force in tennis, but Sunday's victory could be the jump-start needed to revive a legend's legacy at the peak of his performance calendar.

Since then, Federer has beaten him in finals at the Australian Open and the Miami Masters, either side of a win for big-serving American Sam Querrey at Acapulco, Mexico.

The Frenchman, however, played tighter in the second set, which he won after breaking decisively in the 11th game.

Nadal took victory as Ramos-Vinolas double-faulted. Appearing in his first Masters final, the 15th-seeded Ramos- Vinolas saved three break points in his first service game and was 0-40 down in his next. "Then he seemed exhausted and I was feeling fresh, physically and mentally, maybe that's why I won", Ramos Vinolas said.

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"I know that I need to be at my best to keep having chances, to fight for another title here".

"It's the best win of my career", the 10th-seeded Goffin said.

Ramos-Vinolas never looked like posing a threat.

Nadal's next target will be his home event in Barcelona, where he owns nine titles.

"I have nothing against Cedric, he's a very nice guy", Goffin said.

Earlier, claycourt specialist Ramos, who beat world number one Andy Murray and fifth seed Marin Cilic en route to the semi-finals, survived the loss of the second set to down the 11th-seeded Pouille.

"That's fair from the chair umpire to tell me that I'm taking a little bit too much time". We came through some close Match tie-breaks this week and it's a good start to the clay season.

"I think he served really well today".

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