Yesterday took place the final games of the whole week of the tennis battles in the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters 2017 tournament.
Indian Rohan Bopanna and Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas captured their first ATP World Tour team title on Sunday when they defeated seventh-seeded Spaniards Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez 6-3, 3-6, 10-4 in 74 minutes in the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters final. Bopanna and Cuevas earned 1,000 points in the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings and share €253,950 in prize money.
Bopanna, who adds to his Aircel Chennai Open crown (w/Nedunchezhiyan) this year, is now 16-24 lifetime in doubles finals and 4-4 in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title matches. Cuevas improved to 7-7 in team finals, also adding a second trophy in 2017 to his Rio Open presented by Claro run (w/Carreno Busta). It was his second piece of Masters 1000 silverware, adding to the 2015 Internazionali BNL d’Italia (w/Marrero).
“I’m really happy, as I didn’t started the season well,” said Cuevas. “I’m happy to win with my partner in the first tournament on European clay and I hope for a good run through to Paris.”
Bopanna said, “I’m really happy to win our first title together. I’ve come to Monte-Carlo so many years, it’s such a historic tournament. We had a tough start to the season, but it’s great to have won. We came through some close Match tie-breaks this week and it’s a good start to the clay season. I’m looking forward to the rest of the tournaments.”
Rafael Nadal captured an incredible 10th Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters crown on Sunday in beating fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1, 6-3 in the 76-minute final. Nadal’s 29th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title, one shy of record-holder Novak Djokovic (30), marks the first time in the Open Era (since April 1968) that any man has won a singles tournament on 10 occasions.
The victory also sees Nadal clinch his 50th clay-court crown (50-8), breaking the record he shared with Guillermo Vilas since 24 April 2016, when he lifted his ninth trophy at the Barcelona Open Banco Sabadell.
“I feel lucky to keep playing tennis [and] being healthy all those years, in order to compete in one of the most beautiful events of the year, without a doubt. I am very happy to win another one. For me, it is a very important day in my career.”
His Serene Highness Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco presented Nadal with the trophy after he improved to a 63-4 match record at the Monte-Carlo County Club, receiving an incredible ovation for his moment of tennis history from the capacity crowd. World No. 7 Nadal earned 1,000 Emirates ATP Rankings points and will now travel to Barcelona, where he will look to further add to his legacy as the undisputed ‘King of Clay’, with €820,035 in prize money.
Nadal has now won an ATP World Tour title for the 14th year in a row (since 2004) and now has a 70-35 mark in title matches during his illustrious career. Ever since making his tour-level debut in 2003, Nadal has compiled a 370-34 match record (.916) on the dirt – the best winning percentage of any player in the Open Era.
Albert Ramos-Vinolas was disappointed to lose in the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters final on Sunday, but was full of praise for Rafael Nadal after the match.
Ramos-Vinolas had put together the best week of his career in posting back-to-back victory over World No. 1 Andy Murray, No. 8-ranked Marin Cilic and No. 17-ranked Lucas Pouille. He had been attempting to become the first player outside of the Top 20 in the Emirates ATP Rankings to win the Monte-Carlo title since No. 31 Alberto Mancini in 1989 (d. Becker).
“I think that he was a little bit better in everything. He has a little bit more power than me. When he’s a little bit better in everything, it’s what we saw in the match,” said Ramos-Vinolas. “But tennis is like this. You have some days with results you didn’t expect, then you come back to reality. Today he put me back to reality.”
It was the first all left-handed Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters final since 2010, when Nadal swept past his compatriot Fernando Verdasco, and the fourth all-Spanish final in the tournament’s history – 2002 Juan Carlos Ferrero d. Carlos Moya, 2010 Nadal d. Verdasco and 2011 Nadal d. David Ferrer.
“It’s not easy to play a final against Rafa Nadal, to play with no sun today. He has a little bit more power than me in his game. Also, I think the cloud today didn’t help me. Obviously, I think that even if it has been sunny, I would have probably lost as well, but maybe it would have been a little bit different. To play a final against him today, it was not easy.”
Despite the loss, Ramos-Vinolas will reach the Top 20 of the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time on Monday. Displaying impressive stamina to withstand three consecutive three-set matches to reach the final, in addition to showing greater power from the baseline, the Spaniard is eager to continue moving up the rankings and knows he will have to add even more to his arsenal.
“That’s what I have to do during today and tomorrow, figure out exactly what I did good and what can I improve,” said Ramos-Vinolas. “For sure everybody, not just me, can improve a lot of things. Obviously my serve is not my best shot, but I think I served a little bit worse than normally today.”
Ramos-Vinolas is already turning his attention to the Barcelona Open Banco Sabadell, where he is seeded 10th. He’ll welcome the first-round bye and an extra day to recover from his Monte-Carlo run, but said he’s ready for another big week in Barcelona.
“Nobody likes to play a final and lose 6-1, 6-3. But I know how it is. I know that I have another tournament. I have to keep going. I will try to have my feedback with the good things that I did this week,” said Ramos-Vinolas. “Obviously this week is my best result. Not today, but maybe tomorrow I will be proud of myself, and I will restart again for the next tournament.”