The 2007 edition of the Monte Carlo Masters saw notable changes, with the first-round bye for the top eight seeds and the best-of-three final. However, one thing remained the same, with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer reaching the title clash.
The Spaniard claimed his third consecutive Monte Carlo crown following a 6-4, 6-4 victory in an hour and 35 minutes. It was their tenth meeting on the Tour and the seventh win for Rafa, the fifth on clay. Nadal had the edge in the more extended exchanges to secure his triumph, pushing Federer's backhand to the limits and making more damage on the return.
The Spaniard saved all three break chances to keep the pressure on the Swiss. He delivered one break in each set to wrap up the victory and extend his Monte Carlo winning streak to 17. Nadal made the difference with his second serve, controlling his strokes nicely and finishing with 19 unforced errors in comparison to Federer's 38.
Also, the Swiss served at 55%, which plagued his chances, playing against eight break chances and giving serve away twice. Roger had the opportunity to grab an early lead in the encounter's game two. Still, he sprayed a forehand error and missed an early advantage.
Eager to avenge that tight loss from 12 months ago, Federer was a better player in the opening eight games. He drew another break chance with a smash winner at 4-3.
Rafael Nadal defeated Roger Federer for his third Monte Carlo crown in 2007.
Nadal fended it off with a service winner before giving Roger another opportunity to gain a significant lead.
Federer's forehand could not find the target on his third and last break chance. Nadal closed the game after another mistake from his rival to gain a boost. Roger paid the price very soon after spraying four errors to drop serve and find himself 5-4 down.
Instead of moving 40-15 up on the return in the next game, Federer landed a loose forehand, and Rafa sealed the set with a forehand crosscourt winner for 6-4 after 47 minutes. Roger fended off a break chance in the second set's opening game before Nadal fired a backhand down the line winner in game three to build the advantage that would take him home.
Federer reached deuce on the return at 2-3, and Nadal kept his composure to make a hold and create a 4-2 gap. Roger repelled three break chances in the seventh game to remain within one break deficit and keep at least some possibilities for a turnaround.
Rafa was not to be denied, though, holding at love in game eight and earning a match point on the return a few minutes later. Federer saved it with a forehand winner and delivered a service winner to bring the game home and force Nadal to serve for the triumph.
The Spaniard was in a good rhythm behind the initial shot. He sealed the deal when Roger sent a backhand long to celebrate his third straight Monte Carlo title, becoming the first player to achieve that since Ilie Nastase in the early 70s.
• Rafael Nadal's story told in children's picture book• Tiger Woods shares a massive praise for Rafael Nadal: "He's an inspiration"• Rafael Nadal shares a new update on his come back!• Tiger Woods: "Rafael Nadal is extraordinary"• Abdullah Shelbayh reveals what mentor Rafael Nadal warned him to avoid • Rafael Nadal's last tennis life: in Australian on the border between utopia and dream