For the fifth time in a row since 2005 (winning over Federer in three consecutive meetings ’06, ’07 & ’08) and the first in the history of Monte Carlo Masters, Rafael Nadal showed the world that he is still the gladiator of clay courts, defeating Novak Djokovic in three sets 6-3, 2-6, 6-1.
You know what really the best thing about Nadal in clay— he has this unbelievable ability to control the match from the beginning ’till end. It’s like every point, every timing and every set are important to him. Like in the first set, Nadal immediately crushed Djokovic in the first game, AD-love.
Yet, Djokovic didn’t allow the World Number 1 Seed to simply devour him. He came victorious in the second set (6-2). Both players exchange a what you think a never-ending rally but Djokovic decided to approach the net and sealed it with an impressive (and I say the most unforgettable in this match!) smash to grab the first winning point 1-0.
That’s the Nole I’m talking about from the start. Although he lose this match, he still got plenty of amazing tricks in his pockets. He’s just waiting for the right timing before striking it on board.
In the end, the King of Clay breezed up his performance to win four straight games in the deciding.
This is Nole’s first back-to-back appearance this 2009, rounding up his season record to 26-9. His first triumph came in Dubai, the second was just a couple weeks ago in Miami losing to Andy Murray and now, he opened the clay season with a final clash with the King, producing 4 Aces compared to Nadal’s 2.
“[Novak] is a very good player,” said Nadal. “On clay, too, he has very good results. I think top three or top four on clay. [Whenever you] play against him [it] is tough. And today wasn’t an exception.” (Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters)