>> Sunday, April 22, 2012
It's a dream final in both the singles and doubles competition at the 2012 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters tennis tournament. The tournament's top two seeds are contesting the championship in both singles and doubles finals. World #1 Novak Djokovic is going against world #2 Rafael Nadal in singles, while the top-seeded pair of Bob and Mike Bryan are going against the second-seeded pair of Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor. Live online action will be available here starting at 2.00 pm local time on Sunday, April 22, 2012.
Djokovic is going for his first ever Monte-Carlo title while Nadal is aiming for an unprecedented eighth straight title. The pair have met once in the final before with Nadal the victor in the 2009 finals. Djokovic has shown some resilience this week overcoming first set losses in the round of 16 and the semifinals while Nadal's path has been pretty straightforward winning all his four matches this week in straight sets. On a personal level, Djokovic will be playing his fourth match after learning about death in his family with the unfortunate demise of his grandfather last Thursday.
The Monte-Carlo tennis tournament is one of the only three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 that Djokovic hasn't won in his career. The other two are Cincinnati and Shanghai. The world #1 will be playing his 45th ATP tournament championship match and has won 30 titles before. Eighteen of those title matches have come in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final, where he has won 11 titles to date. As for Nadal, he is going for his 47th ATP title in his 68th ATP tournament championship match. The Spaniard is attempting to be the first player ever to win 20 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles as he is currently tied with Roger Federer with 19 such titles. He is playing in his 30th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 finals match.
Nadal has a winning record against match-ups with #1 players. He has won 13 of 21 matches when going against the top-ranked player. In Monte-Carlo, he is a perfect 14-0 against top-10 opponents. Nadal also leads Djokovic 16-14 in their career head to head meetings. However, he hasn't beaten the Serb since the round robin stage of the 2010 10 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Djokovic has won their last seven matches including two finals in clay in Madrid and Rome, and the last three Grand Slam finals at Wimbledon, the US Open, and this year's Australian Open. Djokovic's last two victories over Nadal on clay were both in straight sets.
The winner of the tournament will take home €460,260 and 1000 ranking points. The runner-up will earn €225,680 and 600 points. Furthermore, the winner will have a huge psychological advantage for the rest of the clay court season. Djokovic hasn't been shy on expressing his desire of conquering this year's French Open - the only Grand Slam missing in his resume. Nadal is all out to stop him from doing that. After all, Nadal is considered by many to be the best clay court player ever and his 32 titles in clay - third best total - attest to that.
Nadal on playing Djokovic: "My feeling is I have much less to lose than him. I have everything to win... That's the most important thing. That's the only positive thing about losing seven times. The next matches, you only have to win. You go to the match knowing that the normal thing is lose but trying the best to change situation. That's what I'm going to try."
Djokovic on playing Nadal: "It will be the most difficult match for me in this tournament... He's the player to beat here. He's the player to beat on clay courts. He's the best ever in the history of the sport on this surface. It's the ultimate challenge. I need to play well. I need to play well from the first to the last point. I cannot have ups and downs. I cannot afford that against Rafa. I'm aware of that. But why not believe that I can win?"
Watch the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters 2012 finals live online featuring Djokovic vs Nadal through TennisTv.com.