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PHOTOS/VIDEO: 2017 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters FINAL Rafael Nadal vs. Albert Ramos-Vinolas
2017 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters FINAL Rafael Nadal bt. Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6/1 6/3
Rafa Nadal, who had practised first-strike tennis on Court Rainier III hours before the afternoon final, put Ramos-Vinolas under immediate pressure in his first service game, but he could not convert three break point opportunities. In targeting Ramos-Vinolas’ backhand with his heavy topspin forehand, Nadal created space and in the fourth game secured a 3-1 advantage with a break to love. A second service break followed at 1-4, 15/40, when Ramos-Vinolas struck a forehand into the net. Nadal, who had been quick to move up the court for the short ball, clinched the 30-minute set with an ace.
Ramos-Vinolas, who attempted not to be pushed back further behind the baseline, settled down in the early stages of the second set, but at 2-2 the relentless depth and pace of Nadal saw the World No. 24 get broken for a third time (to 30) with a mis-timed backhand that sailed long.
Nadal experienced a brief wobble when leading 4-3, dropping to 0/30, but clever surface placement ensured short responses for routine groundstroke winners. At 3-5, Ramos-Vinolas buckled under tremendous pressure. Having saved two championship points, courtesy of Nadal errors, Ramos-Vinolas hit a double fault on Nadal’s third championship point.