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Watch highlights as Rafael Nadal wins his ninth Monte-Carlo title. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Nadal Beats Monfils, Wins Ninth Monte-Carlo Title

Spaniard takes first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title since 2014

Rafael Nadal captured his ninth Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters crown on Sunday as he defeated Gael Monfils 7-5, 5-7, 6-0 in an enthralling final on Court Ranier III.

With H.S.H. Prince Albert II and his wife, Princess Charlene of Monaco, watching on, Nadal claimed a record-equalling 28th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown and his first for almost two years.

Detailed Breakdown & Analysis: Set-By-Set | Brain Game

The 29-year-old Nadal reclaimed the title that he won at the Monte-Carlo Country Club from 2005-2012. His 46-match winning streak in Monte-Carlo was finally ended in the 2013 final by Novak Djokovic.

"The victory here confirms that I am better and I am very happy... It's been a very, very emotional week for me, a very important event," Nadal said. "Monte-Carlo is one of the most important places in my career without any doubt. To win again here after three years is so special for me."

ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Title Leaders

Player

Titles

Rafael Nadal
28
Novak Djokovic
28
Roger Federer
24
Andre Agassi
17

Victory marked Nadal’s first ATP World Tour title since lifting the trophy in Hamburg in August 2015 (d. Fognini).

In a battle full of twists and turns, Nadal ultimately prevailed over Monfils in two hours and 46 minutes. Monfils has made his most consistent start yet to a season, and caused Nadal no end of trouble with his incredible defence and point-clinching shot-making.

But the Frenchman’s legs ultimately ran out in the decider as Nadal’s continued pounding from the baseline eventually took its toll. The Spaniard fell to his knees as he celebrated a longed-for victory after a trying 18 months on the ATP World Tour.

Most Clay-Court Titles (Open Era)

Player

Titles
Guillermo Vilas
49
Rafael Nadal
48
Thomas Muster
40
Bjorn Borg
30
Manuel Orantes 30

"When the other player is the best, you have to recognize it," Monfils said of Nadal in the third set. "He was a lot better. He was relaxed, hitting hard. I felt he was really in control."

Appearing in his 100th tour-level final, Nadal clinched his 68th title. The left-hander is the sixth player in the Open Era to reach a century of finals on the ATP World Tour. After laying his hands on his 48th clay-court crown, Nadal is now just one trophy away from drawing level with Open Era clay title leader Guillermo Vilas.

"Winning nine times here is something unbelievable for me," Nadal said. "I need to keep going."

The 29-year-old Monfils was bidding to win his first Masters 1000 crown after runner-up finishes in Paris in 2009 (l. to Djokovic) and 2010 (l. to Soderling). The Parisian has compiled a 20-6 match record in 2016, also reaching the final in Rotterdam (l. to Klizan) and the quarter-finals at the Australian Open (l. to Raonic), as well as in Indian Wells (l. to Raonic) and Miami (l. to Djokovic).

He dropped to a 5-19 finals record, with nine of those defeats coming against Top 10 players.

Nadal's Happy Hunting Grounds

Tournament

No. of Titles

Monte-Carlo
9
Roland Garros
9
Barcelona
8
Rome
7