Rafael Nadal romped to a record 11th Monte Carlo Masters title by brushing aside Kei Nishikori in Sunday’s final to retain the world number one ranking.
The 31-year-old saw off Nishikori 6-3, 6-2 to become the first man to win a tournament 11 times in the Open era with his 76th ATP Tour triumph.
Nadal’s 31st Masters title is also an outright record, pulling him out of a tie with Novak Djokovic.
A look at his 10 previous titles:
2005: bt Guillermo Coria (ARG) 6-3, 6-1, 0-6, 7-5
– Nadal kicked off his love affair with the event and his era of domination on clay with victory as an 18-year-old over defending champion Guillermo Coria. The Argentinian remains one of only three players to have beaten Nadal in Monte Carlo after a 2003 third-round win, but despite a third-set bagel, was no match for the rampant teenager two years later as he claimed his first Masters title.
2006: bt Roger Federer (SUI) 6-2, 6-7 (2/7), 6-3, 7-6 (7/5)
– The first of three successive final victories over Federer, Nadal ground down the then-world number one in the last best-of-five-sets final. Nadal has been Federer’s nemesis on clay ever since, to the extent that the 20-time Grand Slam champion is currently skipping the claycourt season for the second year in a row.
2007: bt Roger Federer (SUI) 6-4, 6-4
– Federer was again the unlucky man to face Nadal on one of his favourite courts, slumping to a straight-sets defeat, although he did take more games off the Spaniard than any other player that week.
2008: bt Roger Federer (SUI) 7-5, 7-5
– Nadal won the title without dropping a set for the second straight year, although he was pushed hard by Federer in the final. That set up hopes of a close French Open final clash two months later, but instead the Swiss managed just four games in a famous three-set thrashing.
2009: bt Novak Djokovic (SRB) 6-3, 2-6, 6-1
– A new rival had emerged by the following year, and although Novak Djokovic managed a set, Nadal was as ruthless as ever in a one-sided decider as he beat the Serbian for the sixth time in six meetings on clay at the time.
2010: bt Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 6-0, 6-1
– Fernando Verdasco stunned Djokovic 6-2, 6-2 in the semi-finals, but was brought back down to earth by a near-perfect Nadal performance. It was Nadal’s first ATP Tour title for 11 months and a record sixth on the spin in Monte Carlo.
2011: bt David Ferrer (ESP) 6-4, 7-5
– Although David Ferrer kept Nadal honest, his toughest match en route to the 2011 title came in a three-set tussle with Andy Murray in the last four.
2012: bt Novak Djokovic (SRB) 6-3, 6-1
– Nadal became the first man in the Open era to win eight consecutive titles at the same tournament by brushing aside Djokovic. It was the fourth time he had won the event without losing a set.
2016: bt Gael Monfils (FRA) 7-5, 5-7, 6-0
– Defeats by Djokovic in the 2013 final and 2015 semi-finals sandwiched a last-eight loss to Ferrer and left Nadal without a Monte Carlo title in three years. But he was back to his best in 2016, blowing away French hope Gael Monfils with a final-set bagel.
2017: bt Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) 6-3, 6-1
– At the age of 30, Nadal became the first player in the Open era to win 50 claycourt titles and the first man to win 10 titles at the same tournament. He was tested in his opening match by Kyle Edmund, but was never in any trouble thereafter as he romped into the final and trounced fellow Spaniard Albert
(With inputs from AFP)