Rafael Nadal reigns again in Monte Carlo
Rafael Nadal claimed his seventh straight Monte Carlo Masters title with a 6-4 7-5 victory over David Ferrer.
The world No. 1 became the first man to win an ATP Tour title seven years running, overcoming a determined Ferrer to claim his 19th Masters title.
Ferrer had been in impressive form in Monaco, having reached the final without dropping a set, and he pushed his fellow Spaniard all the way, but he was unable to deny Nadal his first title of the year.
The top seed took an early lead with a break of serve, only to be pegged back by Ferrer who was matching Nadal shot-for-shot on the red dirt. However, Nadal forged ahead once more, and held on to clinch the opening set.
Nadal looked to be on course for a routine victory after taking a 4-2 lead in the second set, but Ferrer produced moments of brilliance to claw his way back into the match and take a 5-4 lead.
But a double fault and a rash forehand handed Nadal the critical break, and the Spaniard showed why he is widely considered to be the greatest clay court player of all time to grind out the victory despite not being at his best.