Monte Carlo Masters marks the arrival of the clay court swing and it has always been an essential tournament leading up to the French Open. Rafael Nadal has won this tournament the most no.of times (8) and Novak Djokovic is the defending champion.
In this article we travel back in time, to look at the 5 most memorable finals this tournament has had to offer.
Nadal vs Coria (2005)
This match marked the arrival of an 18 year old teenager who was to dominate this tournament and become the King of Clay: Rafael Nadal.
Guillermo Coria was the pre match favorite, but Nadal came out and took the first two sets 6-3 6-1. Coria was still not out. Defying all odds he took bageled Nadal in the third set to take it 6-0.The Spaniard though would seal his first Masters title by winning the fourth set 7-5.
Nadal vs Djokovic (2009)
Rafael Nadal came into this tournament being the 4 time defending champion and it was to be the 5th for Rafa as he defeated Nole in a thrilling 3 setter. Rafa was the hands down favorite to clinch the title, but Nole shocked everyone by taking the second set 6-2 . Nole incidentally won only 33% of his second serve points which enabled Rafa to win the match 6-3 2-6 6-1.
Roger vs Rafa (2006)
The epic rivalry was just at it’s beginning. Rafa came into this match up having a 3 -1 head to head record against the maestro but Roger was the favorite as he had lost only one match in the year 2006 up to that point. Nadal won the opening set comfortably, but roger bounced back to take the second set. Rafa steamrolled through the 3rd .The fourth was the best set of the lot with Rafa edging Roger 7-5 in a tiebreaker. Rafa would go on to defeat the Maestro in the finals of the 2007 and 2008 editions too.
2. Roger vs Stan (2014)
Stan cams into this tournament having won his first grand slam at Melbourne park, but many wondered if it was a one time fluke. His win -loss record against Roger too (1-13) wasn’t too encouraging. Stan however, proved the critics wrong by producing extraordinary hitting to deny Roger his first Monte Carlo Masters and take his first Masters title. Stan lost the first set 6-4 but recovered to take the second in the tiebreak.The heavier conditions helped Stan to clinch the match by taking the third set comfortably 6-2.
Becker vs Muster (1995)
This Becker-Muster encounter in the Monte Carlo masters was one for the ages. Muster battled from two sets down and saved two match points on one of which Becker double faulted two. Take the encounter 4-6 5-7 6-1 7-6 6-0. Becker committed an unprecedented 82 unforced errors and failed to win his first clay tournament despite having 43 tournament wins on Fasters surface. Thomas Muster, one of the greatest clay courters of all time won his second Monte Carlo Mater’s title.