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Nadal Wins Eighth Straight Monte-Carlo Crown

Monte-Carlo, Monaco

Nadal© Getty ImagesRafael Nadal lifted his first trophy of the season on Sunday.

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal clinched his eighth successive Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters title on Sunday, dismissing top-ranked Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-1 to end a seven-match final losing streak to the Serb.

"It's very important to break that situation," said Nadal. "It's important to win a tournament another time. Especially [this] tournament. [Breaking] that situation [and] winning a Masters 1000, one of my favourites, [makes] everything perfect today."

The 25-year-old Nadal broke a tie with Roger Federer for the most ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crowns, lifting his 20th trophy. It’s his first triumph since winning a record-tying sixth Roland Garros title in June 2011.

"To start the clay-court season winning here is an amazing feeling," Nadal said. "This tournament is very special for me. My level of tennis was high during the last four matches, since the second round."

The Spaniard, who did not drop a set all week, broke Djokovic’s serve in the third game courtesy of a backhand error, and had his opponent under more pressure in the seventh game. Djokovic saved a break point to hold for 3-4, but Nadal broke down his defences again in the ninth game to clinch the opener as the Serb hit wide.

Nadal ran away with the second set, racing to a 4-0 lead before Djokovic capitalised on his lone break point opportunity to get on the scoreboard. Nadal converted his fifth break in the ensuing game, and served out the match to claim victory in one hour and 19 minutes.

"He took his opportunities [in the] first set and made a break, and that's it," said Djokovic. "I didn't make him play at all. I just was out there trying to put the ball in the court."

Djokovic was bidding to win his third title of the season, having captured his fifth Grand Slam championship over Nadal at the Australian Open, and finishing in the winners’ circle at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami (d. Murray). It was an emotional week for Djokovic, who learned on Thursday that his grandfather had passed away.

"It's been a tough week, not just for me but for everybody in my family," Djokovic said. "We're going through this together. In the end, I played the final and I'm really happy for that." 

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