In 2017, Rafael Nadal successfully defended the Monte Carlo crown, becoming the first player in the Open Era with ten titles in the same event! A great Spaniard beat compatriot Albert Ramos-Viñolas 6-1, 6-3 in one hour and 16 minutes, playing much better throughout the match and emerging as a deserved winner to re-enter the record books.
Since 2005, when he was still 18 years old, Nadal had been the dominant figure in this prestigious tournament, lifting ten trophies and suffering only four defeats. His overall score in the Principality stood at a mind-boggling 63-4 after that year, a record that will be hard to beat for decades to come.
It was Nadal's 29th Masters 1000 crown, moving to just one behind Novak Djokovic and becoming the first player with 50 ATP titles on clay, leaving Guillermo Vilas with 49! Plus, it was Rafa's 70th ATP title in his glorious career, something only four players had achieved before him since 1968.
At 30 years and 10 months, Nadal became the fourth-oldest winner of the Masters 1000 trophy behind Roger Federer, Andre Agassi and Ivan Ljubicic. It was the eighth all-Spanish Masters 1000 final and the first since Monte Carlo 2011, with Ramos-Viñolas advancing to his first Masters 1000 title match and achieving the best result of his career, with Nadal taking control from the start in one day.
cold and cloudy to never look back, marching confidently towards the new Monte Carlo trophy. The groundstrokes of a younger Spaniard just weren't good enough to push Rafa out of his comfort zone or force him to change something in his shooting pattern, and the result like this became inevitable in that scenario.
Nadal served 76% and lost only nine points on serve, never facing a break point or deuce. On the other hand, Ramos-Viñolas won only half the points in his games, playing against 11 break opportunities. Stefanos Tsitsipas won his first Masters 1000 title on Sunday, and that has given the Greek the confidence to go all the way at a Slam too.
Speaking to the media ahead of the start of his Barcelona Open campaign, Tsitsipas was bullish about his chances of winning a Major title in the near future. The 22-year-old also referred to the peculiarity of having watched the likes of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic as a child, and then having to face them now in his bid to win a Slam.
Tsitsipas talks about the Big 3
"I was watching Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic play on TV as a kid and now I am facing them. I think I can win a Grand Slam," Stefanos Tsitsipas said. The 22-year-old believes the current generation will offer more rivalries than the previous era did, and he cited his match-ups with the likes of Alexander Zverev, Jannik Sinner and Matteo Berrettini to prove his point.
"I'm sure I'm going to have not just a rivalry with Andrey," Tsitsipas said. "You see back 15 years ago, 10 years ago when Nadal and Federer built one. I feel like in our circumstances, the way it's going to be in this era, there are going to be much more rivalries than just one.
It won't be singular. Me with Zverev, me with Sinner, me with Berrettini. There are going to be a lot of rivalries out there. I think this variety that tennis is going to receive is going to make it really exciting."