Related News

Home » Sports » Tennis

Nadal makes it 5th straight

RAFAEL Nadal became the first player to win five straight Monte Carlo Masters titles by beating Novak Djokovic 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 in Monaco yesterday.

The top-ranked Spaniard dropped his first set since the 2006 final against Roger Federer as the third-seeded Djokovic rallied to win the second set, pinning Nadal behind the baseline and picking him off at the net.

Nadal trailed 1-3 in the first set before reeling off five straight games. Struggling on serve in the decider, he saved three break points and needed 14 minutes to hold his opening service game.

But Nadal held on and it was Djokovic who crumbled as the Spaniard clinched victory on his first match point when the Serbian sent a backhand into the net.

On Saturday, Nadal beat fourth-seeded Andy Murray 6-2, 7-6 (4) to reach the final. Djokovic had rallied from a set down to beat Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.

Murray rallied from 2-5 down in the second set on Saturday to push Nadal to play his best tennis after cruising in the first set.

"I think he's the greatest clay court player ever," Murray said. "At the start I made too many mistakes. I was trying to hit too many winners from the wrong position. Then at the end of the match I started to play properly."

Murray was pushed three meters behind the baseline at times, but this defensive strategy afforded him little opportunity to attack Nadal in the opening set.

He began the second more aggressively and held his serve at love with a perfect drop shot at 30-0 and a backhand winner on his next point.

The match appeared wrapped up for Nadal at 5-2, but Murray roared back with some phenomenal winners that not even the speedy Nadal could chase down.

Murray held and then pegged Nadal behind the baseline, finally converting a break point with a smash that got him back to 5-4.

"To beat him you have to play great for three, five sets because he's so solid," Murray said. "If you give him one chance, he's one of the best, probably the best, at taking them."


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend