Home » Rafael Nadal defeats Novak Djokovic and extends his winning streak in Monte Carlo.
Rafael Nadal defeats Novak Djokovic and extends his winning streak in Monte Carlo.
When they faced off in the 2009 Monte Carlo Masters final, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic‘s rivalry had only been going for a little over three years. Third time in the ATP final, it was their 16th encounter. After a tense match that lasted two hours and 43 minutes, Nadal prevailed 6-3, 2-6, 6-1.
The Spaniard put in a lot of effort to earn every point and won the Principality for the fifth time in a row. In this match, Rafa won for the 12th time over Novak and seventh time on clay overall. This victory brought his winning run to 25 matches.
Djokovic became Nadal‘s most important competitor on clay, despite the fact that he had yet to defeat him on the slowest surface. In Hamburg and Roland Garros a year ago, Novak took on Rafa, and a few weeks earlier in the Davis Cup, the young American kept pace with the dominant Spaniard in the first two sets.
Rafa’s streak at Monte Carlo was finally broken by Novak, but he could only manage to win one set. In the last match, the Serb fell behind a more capable opponent both physically and emotionally. With about 40 exchanges that went over the tenth shot, they pushed each other to the limit.
With his excellent court coverage and top-notch groundstrokes, Novak kept Rafa in the match and forced Nadal to take an additional shot. The Spaniard got the upper hand in the shorter and mid-range rallies, but he had to put in his all to win, taking nearly an hour to take the final set despite only playing seven games!
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Behind the first and second serves, Nadal performed better. To create the clear edge that saw him through to victory, he dropped service five times and attempted to steal the opponent’s serve seven times. While attempting to be aggressive, Novak made around 50 unintentional mistakes by rushing to the goal and imposing his strokes.
At the start of the match, Djokovic blew a game point, and Rafa broke him with a backhand crosscourt winner for the win. After a sloppy backhand in the following game, the Spaniard lost service.
In the 2009 Monte Carlo final, Rafael Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic by a wide margin.
It took 26 minutes to finish the first four games as the contest quickly turned into an open battle!
After two service breaks, Novak established a 3-1 lead. After intercepting Djokovic‘s serve at love, Nadal quickly overcame the deficit and held in game six with the help of a backhand crosscourt winner to tie the match at 3-3.
After more than ten minutes of play in game seven, the defending champion capitalized on his fourth break opportunity with the momentum once more on his side. The next game was won by the Spaniard at love, putting him ahead 5-3. Following that early advantage, Djokovic lost all momentum and, after a painful 58 minutes, conceded the set to his competitor by dropping serve once more.
The Serb, who was there to compete, opened the second set with a break following an amazing 36-stroke rally that had the crowd to explode in cheers. Djokovic, who was up 2-1, fended off three break attempts to go up 3-1 with a smash winner.
When Nadal blasted a mistake on his forehand in the following game to build a 4-1 lead, he positioned himself in a great position to win the set. Djokovic kept the set close the entire time and won it with an ace at 5-2 to build confidence and gain momentum going into the decider.
In the first game of the decider, the decisive event of the entire final occurred. With a breathtaking 39-shot exchange that brought Novak to his knees, Rafa preserved a break chance. Then, another break point was thwarted by a service winner.
On his third break attempt, Djokovic was unable to return serve, and after 13 minutes, the Spaniard held with a forehand winner. After blowing a few game points, Novak lost focus and took a break in the following game. He also smashed the ball far over the court with a forehand during this time.
Over the course of the third game’s more than 10 minutes, Novak successfully utilized his third break opportunity to erase the deficit and turn the score around. However, the Serb was unable to maintain his lead for too long as Nadal broke once more in game four to make the score 3-1.
An ace down the T line and a flawless hold at love gave the Spaniard a 4-1 lead, leaving Novak with nothing left in the tank. In the sixth game, the Serb committed a double fault and fell behind 5-1. Nadal then sealed the victory with a hold at love to claim his fifth consecutive Monte Carlo title.
The match would have gone over three hours if the final three games had lasted longer than 12 minutes each. That demonstrates how tight the contest was up until Rafa grabbed the initiative to win it in the decisive second stage.