Rafa Wins Monte Carlo 2016

At last, Rafael Nadal opens 2016 with an explosive win in Monte Carlo. Before the details, let’s rewind the time a bit.

Rafa-Monte-Carlo-2016

Rafa failed to win a grand slam in 2015. In fact, he only won two titles in clay. The first was in Buenos Aires. It’s a 250-tournament so the draw was easy for the King of Clay.

He defeated four Argentians in straight sets – namely Facundo Arguello (4, 0), Federico Delbonis (1, 1), Carlos Berloq (6, 2) and Juan Monaco (4, 1).

He went to Harmburg (a 500-tournament) after his second-round exit in Wimbledon. There, he faced a more competitive draw. He outlasted Fernando Verdasco (3, 1, 1), Jiri Veseley (4, 6), Pablo Cuevas (3, 2), Andreas Seppi (1, 2) and Fabio Fognini (5, 5).

It’s too early to say but it seems 2016 is a renaissance year for Rafa. He opens the clay season by winning his ninth title in Monte Carlo – his favorite tournament according to his autobiography.

Monte Carlo is a 1000-Master tournament – where he’s seeded five. He received a first round bye but he faced tougher competitors in the succeeding rounds.

Rafa-returnsIn the second round, the bankable rising-star from Great Britain, Aljaz Bedene, scored a total of six games. Dominic Thiem is a new Austrian supernova who won three clay titles in 2015 + 1 this year (as of this writing). But against Rafa, he exited in straight sets.

Stan Wawrinka stopped Rafa from winning his second Australian Open title in 2014. It’s a hardcourt surface but it’s a different story in clay. Rafa allowed him to win five games in the quarterfinals.

Andy Murray and Gael Monfils tested the King in the last final rounds, respectively. It seemed Murray couldn’t repeat his straight-set victory in Madrid. After winning the first set, Rafa fought back and found himself in finals after eight months of waiting and recovering.

The finals took more than two hours. Rafa lost the second set but ended the match on fire. At long last, all his hard work paid off.

Personally, he’s my favorite to win French Open for the 10th time but somehow, less expectation is healthier than making predictions. Rafa will take it one match at a time. VAMOS!

Photo Courtesy of: Rafael Nadal Fans

My Top 5 042016

No one cares about this countdown but me.

5) Phone Down – Erykah Badu

I can make you put your phone down | As we cruise through the city | I can make you put your phone down | You ain’t gonna text no one when you wit me | I can make you put your phone down | So you can show me attention | And I’ll cut mine off too (AZ Lyrics)

4) Struggle Love – Jaheim

3) Ugly – Fantasia Barinno

So give me a rusty old grain silo | Give me good food that sticks to my bones | Thank you for that good good man who loves me | With dirt on my hands and scrapes on my knees | The feeling at night when I wash it all clean | I’m telling you girls, it’s a beautiful thing | Trust me, it’s far from ugly (AZ Lyrics)

2) All I Ask – Adele

If this is my last night with you | Hold me like I’m more than just a friend | Give me a memory I can use | Take me by the hand while we do what lovers do | It matters how this ends | ‘Cause what if I never love again? (Direct Lyrics)

(1) Candyman – Aloe Blacc & Zedd

Living for tomorrow | Lost within a dream | Tryna find the answer to the question | And it seems that love makes the world feel good | Singing in the moonlight | Dancing in the rain | Let the sunshine through to lift your spirit once again | Cause love makes the world feel good (Genius)