Raphael Nadal wins 7th Monte Carlo Masters title
Updated: 2011-04-18 09:31
Rafael Nadal of Spain poses with his trophy after winning the final of the Monte Carlo Masters tennis tournament in Monaco April 17, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]
He did not drop a set last year, but Andy Murray took one off him in Saturday's semifinal that lasted nearly three hours. The win against Ferrer went 2 hours, 17 minutes.
"These kind of matches like yesterday, like today improves your condition, physical and mental," Nadal said.
Nadal also beat Ferrer in last year's Rome Masters final. The 29-year-old Ferrer missed a key point in the 10th game when he fluffed a routine overhead smash that would have put Nadal 15-30 down on his own serve, and then hit a loose forehand too long on the following point.
"I was lucky a bit, mistake of the smash at 15-all, it was an important point," Nadal said. "After that David had few more mistakes, that helped me finish the match."
Ferrer, who was aiming for his third title this year and 12th overall, rued some careless errors late in the match against Nadal.
"Generally speaking I'm very happy. I'm happy with my game also," Ferrer said. "I was a bit sad about certain moments."
Nadal held and then broke Ferrer for the fourth time in the match. Ferrer saved one match point when his return clipped the net and bounced just in and out of Nadal's reach.
But a blistering forehand gave Nadal a second chance to win, and he sealed the victory when Ferrer returned a volley into the net.
Nadal, who had conceded his opening service game in his previous two matches to Murray and Ivan Ljubicic, again started slowly, saving two points after dropping to 15-40 down.
Nadal took Ferrer's serve in the third game, but lost his own straight after when Ferrer ended a long rally with a superb drop shot to make it 2-2.
Ferrer continued to struggle - landing only 36 percent of serves in the first set - and was broken again to trail 3-2.
He failed to take advantage of having Nadal 0-40 down in the sixth game, the defending champion holding to lead 4-2 after the players had swapped drop shots close to the net.
In the second set, Nadal broke Ferrer in third game with passing shot to lead 2-1. He was untroubled until the eighth game when Nadal's return from behind baseline bounced out to make it 4-4 as Ferrer broke him for the second time.
Nadal won every match he played on clay last season and claimed a fifth French Open title.
"Well, he's not a machine. He can lose," Ferrer said. "Maybe if Rafa has an injury, I will have a chance."
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