Nadal finally solves Djokovic in Monte Carlo final

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MONACO — Rafael Nadal managed to beat Novak Djokovic in a final, thrashing the top-ranked Serb 6-3, 6-1 on Sunday to win the Monte Carlo Masters for the eighth consecutive year and end a run of seven consecutive defeats to his rival in title matches.

Rafael Nadal reacts after defeating Novak Djokovic to take the Monte Carlo Masters. Nadal had lost seven consecutive finals against Djokovic.  LIONEL CIRONNEAU/ASSOCIATED PRESS
LIONEL CIRONNEAU/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Rafael Nadal reacts after defeating Novak Djokovic to take the Monte Carlo Masters. Nadal had lost seven consecutive finals against Djokovic.

Nadal was hardly troubled by Djokovic in this one and broke the Serb’s serve five times in a one-sided affair on clay to win his 42nd consecutive match at Monte Carlo.

It was his first title since last year’s French Open and the 47th of his career.

“I always loved this tournament since I was a kid. One of my dreams was play here,” Nadal said. “It’s a historic tournament (where) you see all your idols when you are a kid playing here.”

The 25-year-old Nadal thrust his hands in the air after clinching victory in style with an ace that flew past the beleaguered Djokovic, who beat Nadal in an epic Australian Open final this year.

“If you see the finals I win here, all the finals are against probably top-six players,” Nadal said. “That’s something that makes the victories even more difficult.”

Nadal now leads their head-to-head series 17-14, but it was his first win against Djokovic since an early match at the 2010 ATP Finals in London.

The Serb had beaten Nadal in three consecutive Grand Slam finals and handed him his only defeats on clay last year.

“Winning against Novak in (the) final after losing a few ones is important for me,” Nadal said. “My level of tennis was high during the last four matches.”

FED CUP: In Kharkiv, Ukraine, Serena Williams defeated Lesia Tsurenko 6-3, 6-2 to send the United States back into the Fed Cup World Group by clinching a series victory over Ukraine.

Williams’ win gave the U.S. an unassailable 3-0 lead. Christina McHale later won 7-5, 6-3 against 17-year-old Ukrainian Elina Svitolina to secure a sweep of the singles matches. Americans Liezel Huber and Sloane Stephens completed a 5-0 rout with a 6-4, 6-1 win over 19-year-old twins Lyudmyla and Nadiya Kichenok in doubles.

Williams was making her first Fed Cup appearance on foreign soil in more than a decade to become eligible for the U.S. team at the London Olympics.

“We’re back in the World Group where we want to be and it feels really good to get two points,” she said.


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