Nadal wins ninth Monte Carlo Masters

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal was playing in his 100th ATP World Tour final

Rafael Nadal claimed a ninth Monte Carlo Masters title with victory over Frenchman Gael Monfils.

Nadal, who beat Andy Murray in the last four, won 7-5 5-7 6-0, his 68th win from 100 finals on the ATP World Tour.

A double fault from Monfils, 29, closed out the first set in Nadal’s favour and the Spaniard recovered from losing the second to see off the 13th seed in two hours 46 minutes.

The 29-year-old has now won clay-court titles in each of the past 13 years.

Monfils, a runner-up in the Rotterdam Open in February, earned the backing of the Monte Carlo Country Club crowd as he tested Nadal throughout.

But having earlier saved set point, the pressure told on the Frenchman and he double-faulted to hand fifth seed Nadal a close-fought opening set.

The pair traded five breaks of serve in a gruelling second, but it was Monfils who edged the former world number one to level.

Nadal then took control of the decider and raced into a 5-0 lead before landing a forehand winner at match point to win for the ninth time in Monte Carlo as he builds to next month’s French Open, which he will be seeking to win for a 10th time.

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