Nadal Vs. Monfils For The Title!
Coming up when the rain stops… watch a live stream of the doubles final between Murray/Soares & Herbert/Mahut. http://bit.ly/VMeZc0
The championship of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters on Sunday matches No. 5/ eight-time champion Rafael Nadal against No. 13 seed Gael Monfils, who is the first Frenchman to reach the final here since Cedric Pioline won the title in 2000 (d. Hrbaty). Nadal is trying to capture his ninth Monte-Carlo crown and 28th ATP Masters 1000 title in his 100th career final.
Nadal has an 11-2 career head-to-head record against Monfils, including 4-0 on clay (8-0 in sets). They first met here in the 1R in 2005 and the Spaniard won 63 62 en route to his first of eight straight Monte-Carlo titles. Nadal also has won their two previous final meetings (’10 Tokyo, ’14 Doha). Their last meeting came in the semi-finals of Stuttgart last June and Nadal won 63 64 en route to the title.
Nadal is appearing in final for the 10th time (8-1) since 2005 and he’s looking to capture his first title here since 2012 (d. Djokovic). He has a tournament-best 57-4 career record and he won eight straight titles from 2005 to 2012. His 46-match Monte-Carlo winning streak came to an end in the 2013 final (l. to Djokovic). The 29-year-old Spaniard is the sixth player in the Open Era to reach at least 100 career ATP World Tour level singles finals (67-32). This is his 42nd final in an ATP Masters 1000 event (27-14) and his last Masters 1000 title came in Madrid in 2014 (d. Nishikori). He is second behind Novak Djokovic, who owns 28 ATP Masters 1000 titles. Nadal is appearing in his 56th career clay court final (47-8 mark) and he’s trying to win an ATP World Tour European clay court title for the 13th straight year (since 2004). His last title came in Hamburg on Aug. 2, 2015 (d. Fognini).
Monfils is the first double-digit seed to reach the Monte-Carlo final since No. 11 Nadal won the title in 2005. The last player outside the Top 10 to win an ATP Masters 1000 title was countryman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who was No. 15 when he captured the Toronto title in 2014. The 29-year-old Frenchman is making his third final showing in an ATP Masters 1000 event, having reached back-to-back finals in Paris-Bercy in 2009 (l. to Djokovic) and 2010 (l. to Soderling). Monfils has not dropped a set in five matches, holding serve 37 of 43 games, while leading the tournament in return games won (24 of 42, 57%). Monfils is trying to earn his sixth ATP World Tour title in 24th final (5-18). He is 1-8 vs. Top 10 opponents in finals with his lone win over (9) Gasquet in 2014 Montpellier. He will break the Top 10 in the Emirates ATP Rankings if he wins the title.The last time he was in the Top 10 came on Nov. 7, 2011.
• WHAT’S AT STAKE: Winner € 717,315 and 1,000 Emirates ATP Rankings points
Runner-up € 351,715 and 600 Emirates ATP Rankings points
• FINALS HISTORY:
Nadal is bidding for a 28th ATP Masters 1000 title (27-14) and 68th career title (67-32 in finals)
Monfils is bidding for a 1st ATP Masters 1000 title (0-2) and 6th career title (5-18 in finals)
• ATP MASTERS 1000 TITLE LEADERS: Nadal is trying to win his 28th career ATP Masters 1000 title and equal Novak Djokovic.
• BIG FOUR DOMINANCE: The ‘Big Four’ of Djokovic, Murray, Federer and Nadal have won 50 of the past 54 ATP Masters 1000 tournaments, which dates back to Nadal’s triumph at Monte-Carlo in 2010. The only other players to emerge with an ATP Masters 1000 title are: Robin Soderling (2010 Paris), David Ferrer (2012 Paris), Stan Wawrinka (2014 Monte-Carlo) and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (2014 Toronto).
• NADAL IN MONTE-CARLO FINALS: This is the fifth time since 2008 Nadal came into Monte-Carlo without an ATP World Tour title for the season. In the previous four times (2008, 2010-11-12), he left Monte-Carlo with the title.