Sunday April 23.
Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez advanced to their first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final on Saturday at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. They will now face Rohan Bopanna and Pablo Cuevas in a bid to win their third tour-level team title.
The Spaniards reached their fourth title match (2-1 overall) after they defeated second-seeded French duo and defending champions Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 6-1, 7-6(4) in 78 minutes. Rafael Nadal and Tommy Robredo were the last Spanish team to capture the prestigious title in 2008, when they defeated Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles 6-3, 6-3 in the final.
Feliciano Lopez has a 3-9 record in doubles finals, while Marc Lopez is 13-16 lifetime (3-3 in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 finals). The pair clinched the Roland Garros title (d. Bryan-Bryan) in June 2016.
Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas continued his remarkable run of form on Saturday when he booked a place in his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final at the 117th edition of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.
Ramos-Vinolas, the No. 15 seed, kept his nerve to overcome French hope and No. 11 seed Lucas Pouille 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 in two hours and 16 minutes on another sun-kissed day at the Monte-Carlo Country Club.
Ramos-Vinolas, who is set to improve on his career-high of No. 24 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, will next challenge fourth-seeded compatriot and nine-time champion Rafael Nadal, who beat 10th seed David Goffin of Belgium, in Sunday’s final. It will mark only the fourth time in the tournament’s history that there has been an all-Spanish title match (2002 Ferrero d. Moya, 2010 Nadal d. Verdasco and 2011 Nadal d. Ferrer).
“I improved my tennis a little, my backhand a little bit,” said Ramos-Vinolas, when asked about the improvements in his game. “I improved my physical condition. I improved a little bit my mental condition. I also have more confidence. I think there are a lot of things that are going better. It helps me get better results than before.
Ramos-Vinolas will now hope to improve an 0-2 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Nadal, who won their two matches at the 2013 and 2014 Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.
Rafael Nadal will attempt to win an incredible 10th Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters crown on Sunday against fellow Spaniard No. 15 seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas, the No. 15 seed. Nadal, who will be contesting his 11th final (9-1 record) at the Monte-Carlo Country Club, will also look to seal his 29th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown (28-15).
Nadal leads World No. 24 Ramos-Vinolas 2-0 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, with victories at the 2013 and 2015 Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. It will be the first all left-hander final in the Principality of Monaco since 2010, when Nadal swept aside Fernando Verdasco 6-0, 6-1. It will mark only the fourth time in the tournament’s history that there has been an all-Spanish title match (2002 Ferrero d. Moya, 2010 Nadal d. Verdasco and 2011 Nadal d. Ferrer).
Fourth seed Nadal improved to 62-4 lifetime at the historic clay-court tournament on Saturday afternoon after a 6-3, 6-1 semi-final victory over No. 10 seed David Goffin of Belgium, who had recorded the biggest win of his career over second seed and two-time former champion Novak Djokovic on Friday.
The 30-year-old Nadal is now one match win away from becoming the first man in the Open Era (since April 1968) to earn 10 tournament titles. With victory over Ramos-Vinolas he will clinch a record 50th clay-court crown. On Sunday, the superstar will also be pursuing his first ATP World Tour trophy since 24 April 2016 in Barcelona (d. Nishikori) and the 70th crown of his career.
“It’s tough to believe that I’m in a final again here. It’s unbelievable news for me. It’s another great event. Having all these great results since the beginning of the season allows me to still have a position in the top eight [of the Emirates ATP Rankings]. That’s a very important thing for me,” said Nadal. I’m able to start the clay-court season playing a final in one of the most important events of the year. It’s a very special place for me and this is something that makes me feel very happy. Very excited about it.
“Albert’s playing better than ever. He’s winning huge matches during the whole week. He’s playing with big confidence, with great spirit and fight, overcoming tough situations in every match and playing a high level of tennis all the time. I know that I need to be at my best to keep having chances, to fight for another title here. That’s what I am looking for.”
Goffin, who was appearing in his third career ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final (also 2016 Indian Wells and Miami), was also trying to become the first Belgian to reach a Masters 1000 final. This season’s Sofia and Rotterdam finalist dropped to a 23-8 mark in 2017.
Despite the loss, the Belgian considered the week in Monte-Carlo to be a success.
“It was a beautiful tournament. I gave it my all. I’m very satisfied with what I achieved against the best players in the world on a surface that I like. It’s only positive,” said Goffin. “I have to keep working in that direction. I think I improved this week and I know now that I can have high ambitions.
Rohan Bopanna and Pablo Cuevas will face seventh seeds Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez in Sunday’s final at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, where they will bid to clinch their first ATP World Tour team title.
Bopanna and Cuevas, who had won three straight Match tie-breaks en route to the semi-finals, ended the run of Monegasque Romain Arneodo and Hugo Nys of France (pictured above) 6-4, 6-3 in 60 minutes on Saturday evening. The match was watched by His Serene Highness Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco.
Bopanna, 37, will now look to boost his 3-3 record in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title matches with his 16th crown overall (15-23), while 31-year-old Cuevas will bid to add to his 2015 Internazionali BNL d’Italia trophy (w/Marrero) in Rome and improve upon his 6-7 mark in team finals.
So, here are results of the previous day of the tournament:
And here is the order of games for April 23:
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