Eight is great for Nadal
Rafael Nadal won the Monte Carlo Masters title for an eighth consecutive year with a comprehensive 6-3 6-1 victory over Novak Djokovic.
Nadal had lost his previous seven finals against the world number one, but was in control from the outset here, laying down an ominous marker for the defence of his French Open title.
The 25-year-old did not drop a set all week in Monte Carlo, where he is now unbeaten in 42 matches, to become the first player to win 20 Masters titles.
It was also Nadal's first tournament win since his record-equalling sixth French Open title triumph last year.
In contrast, Djokovic was bidding to win his third title of the season having won the Australian Open and beaten Andy Murray in the final of the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.
But from the moment Nadal broke Djokovic in the third game of the match, the result barely seemed in doubt with Nadal controlling the pace of the contest.
Djokovic's serve was under pressure all match and, although he managed to hold for 3-4, Nadal broke him for a second time to seal the first set.
Nadal then accelerated away from Djokovic at the start of the second, racing into a 4-0 lead before Djokovic converted his only break point of the match to get on the scoreboard.
But Djokovic promptly had his own serve broken again and Nadal wrapped up the victory in one hour 19 minutes.
After seven straight defeats to Djokovic, Nadal was delighted to finally beat the Serbian and to do so in a Masters final made it all the sweeter.
"It's very important to break that situation [and] winning a Masters 1000, one of my favourites, [makes] everything perfect today," Nadal said.
"To start the clay-court season winning here is an amazing feeling.
"This tournament is very special for me. My level of tennis was high during the last four matches, since the second round."
It was a disappointing end to an emotional week for Djokovic, who learned on Thursday that his grandfather had passed away.
"It's been a tough week, not just for me but for everybody in my family," Djokovic said.
"We're going through this together. In the end, I played the final and I'm really happy for that.
"He took his opportunities [in the] first set and made a break, and that's it.
"I didn't make him play at all. I just was out there trying to put the ball in the court."
Hello, regular commenting on Orange News and Sport pages closes on Thursday 30 May 2013. We will continue to provide a commenting facility on major news and sport events on orangeworld.co.uk. Contact us via http://oran.ge/OWfeedback if you have any further questions. Thanks.