Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Rumble in Monte-Carlo

AP Photos
The highly anticipated match at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters is all set. Eight-time defending champion Rafael Nadal will clash with World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the final for the second consecutive year. This will be their third overall final's match at the prestigious clay-court event in Monaco.

For Nadal, this is an event he has ruled with an iron fist since 2005. He has won 8 straight titles, the most in the Open Era by a player at a single event. He's on a 46-match winning streak and hasn't lost at this event since 2003, his debut year. He missed the 2004 tournament due to injuries and has won it every year since 2005. His overall match record is a mind-boggling 48-1.

Djokovic, who lost to Nadal in the 2009 and 2012 finals, confidently said, "I'm going out there to win."

Defeating Nadal on clay is no picnic-- but I guess if anyone can make the above comment-- it's the world no. 1 player. Not to mention, Djokovic is the only man who has ever beaten Nadal in back-to-back clay court events in the past. He did so in Rome and Madrid in 2011.

The Monte-Carlo final will also mark the 11th consecutive meeting in a tournament final between these two juggernauts. Overall this will be the 16th time they face each other in a tournament final with Nadal holding a slim 8-7 lead. Their last meeting was at the 2012 French Open final, which Nadal won. Nadal has won their last 3 meetings after Djokovic had won the previous seven. All 10 matches were in tournament finals which clearly states one thing-- when these two titans play each other, more often than not, they are the only two players remaining in the tournament.

This match should be a dandy.

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