(April 21, 2013) Novak Djokovic won his first title at the Monte-Carlo Masters on Sunday by besting 8-time defending champion Rafael Nadal 6-2, 7-6 (1). The win also snapped Nadal’s 46-match win streak at the Monaco tournament and earned Djokovic his 14 Masters Series title. He’s now won 8 out of the 9 Masters events – he needs to win Cincinnati to have them all.
Djokovic kissed the clay court after the win and during the trophy presentation thanked Nadal.
“Rafa, thank you for allowing me to win it once,” Djokovic said. “I couldn’t ask for a better start to the clay season.”
Djokovic was not sure if he was going to compete in Monte Carlo due to an ankle injury sustained during his tie-clinching match for Serbia over the United States in Davis Cup.
“I cannot be happier than I am in this moment knowing what I’ve been through the whole week, actually two weeks,” said Djokovic. “If somebody told me 10 days ago I’d be winning the trophy, I wouldn’t think it’s so realistic, to be honest.”
“I think he played a little bit better than me, especially in the first set,” Nadal said. “I felt that I was playing really well the second set and I was having more chances than him.”
Djokovic roared out to a 5-0 first set lead with points to take the set 6-0. Nadal held and broke Djokovic to get to 2-5. Djokovic broke back to take the first set 6-2.
Nadal upped his game in the second set and took a 4-2 lead and was drawn even at 4-4. Nadal broke Djokovic in the 11th game of the match and broke Nadal at love to send the second set into a tiebreak.
“When I was 6-5 down, I think out of next 10, 15 points, I lost only one. So that’s an unbelievable effort at that stage,” Djokovic said. “Analyzing the game and the matches that I had against him in the past on different surfaces, I know if I can play on that level for long period of time, I have a very good chance of winning.”
“Of course, I want to win Roland Garros. That’s no secret,” said Djokovic. “But I need to keep on having the right positive mindset for the next tournaments that are also very important. I’m just trying to stay healthy.
“I’m right in the place where I want to be in this moment confidence wise and game wise. I just need to do what I have always done: stay committed, rest well, prepare well, and then I have the next two weeks for those things [to get] ready for next challenge.”