The King of Clay Nadal returns to Monte Carlo in a bid to win the title for ninth year in succession
Rafa Nadal, the 11-times Grand Slam Champion has a remarkable record at the Monte Carlo Open having won it 8 times in a row whilst winning every single match he’s played there since 2004. The Spaniard has only dropped one set which came against Andy Murray in the 2011 semi-final.
Despite his consistently dominant display during the competition, Nadal plays down his chances of lifting the trophy once again. “I don’t feel I am the biggest favourite to win the tournament this year” he said. “It’s not possible to win every year. Someday that’s going to stop”.
Nadal’s only defeat at Monte Carlo was during his debut in 2003 as a 16 year old. Nadal lost his third round match to Guillermo Coria, however since then the Spaniard has won 42 matches in a row, denying the title to Roger Federer on three occasions and Novak Djokovic on two.
Rafael Nadal is the bookies favourite to win the Monte Carlo Masters for a record ninth consecutive time as the 26-year old has had a phenomenal three months since his comeback after suffering from a long term knee injury. Nadal was side-lined from action for seven months, nevertheless the world number five has already shown the glimpses of his champion spirit as he won three out of four competition he has taken part in since his return in February. The Majorcan born player was victorious at Buenos Aires, Acapulco and Indian Wells; Nadal has won more titles this season than any other male player on tour.
“I have had a really tough year” said reflective Nadal, “just to be back and playing in these places is fantastic news. I don’t feel the pressure that I felt these years in the past because I know that after all that has happened the normal thing would be not to repeat all of this. But I’m going to try to be competitive and try to give myself chances to play well” he concluded.
Nadal will get his campaign under way on Wednesday against either Marinko Matosevic or fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco.
Meanwhile Andy Murray will be facing Roger-Vasselin , as the Frenchman overcame Robin Hasse 6-3, 6-2. Jo-Wilfred Tsonga has a
tough task against Davydenko of Russia whilst yet another Russian Youzhny will be challenging the world number one, Novak Djokovic.
Umida Ibrahimova, Sports Correspondent