Rafael Nadal set to carry momentum after winning 11th Monte Carlo Masters title

The world No 1 showed no signs of rustiness as he raced through his first ATP tournament since January without coming close to dropping a set. The 31-year-old became the first man in the Open era to win the same title 11 times and moved one ahead of rival Novak Djokovic for career Masters titles as he recorded a 6-3 6-2 victory over Kei Nishikori on 22 April 2018.

Nadal only returned from a hip injury in Spain’s Davis Cup quarter-final against Germany earlier this month, where he won both of his singles matches in straight sets. The Spaniard had retired from his Australian Open last-eight clash with Marin Cilic in January, but showed no signs of fitness problems in Monte Carlo.

Nadal will now turn his attention to upcoming bids for 11th titles in Barcelona and at the French Open. It’s important for my confidence. It’s true that the longest match here was one hour 30 (minutes). It’s the moment to stay focused and to keep holding that good momentum after winning seven matches in a row on clay now this year.

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