An all-Spanish men’s singles final will be contested at the Monte Carlo Masters on Sunday, after Rafael Nadal and Albert Ramos-Vinolas came through in their respective semi-finals on Saturday.
Nadal wins, amid drama
Nine-time champion and world No 7 Nadal defeated the 10th seeded David Goffin in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1 in an hour and 29 minutes. Despite the straightforward looking scoreline, the match veered dramatically between the Spaniard and the Belgian.
Earlier, it was Goffin who broke Nadal in the third game of the first set to take the lead in the match. In the sixth game of the set, with Goffin serving at game point on deuce to go up 4-2, the match umpire Cedric Mourier overruled the linesman’s call on Nadal’s shot (that went wide). Resultantly, with his focus shaken Goffin handed the break back to the Mallorcan, who never looked back in the match. A second break on Goffin’s serve followed in the eighth game, which saw Nadal take the opening set.
The second set was all the more brutal for the 26-year-old, who won just one game throughout the set. Serving down 5-1, Goffin did save two match points to bring the game to deuce, but Nadal captured the match on his third match point to reach his 11th final in the Principality.
Albert Ramos-Vinolas keeps going
Meanwhile, to start the day’s run, the 15th seeded Ramos-Vinolas continued to make merry with his brilliant run-of-form in Monte Carlo. The Barcelona native won his third straight three-setter in the tournament to defeat the 11th seeded Frenchman Lucas Pouille 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 in two hours and 15 minutes.
Pouille staged a good comeback in the second set to claim it 7-5, but it was no avail as Ramos-Vinolas stormed back into the match in the deciding set. This was Ramos-Vinolas’ first final in an ATP Masters 1000 tournament.