Nadal wants to take momentum from Monaco triumph

Rafael Nadal is hoping to take momentum from a hard-fought victory over Gael Monfils which secured his ninth Monte Carlo Masters triumph.

The Spaniard won the event for a record eight successive years between 2005 – his first ATP 1000 triumph – and 2012 and finally added to his haul with a 7-5 5-7 6-0 win on Sunday.

It represented the world number five’s first Tour-level title since the German Open in August of last year and he hopes it helps him string together a series of positive results ahead of the French Open next month.

“Here is amazing, it’s a tournament that I really love so much; it’s so special for me,” said Nadal.

“I won the first one [ATP 1000 title] here and a couple of times I was struggling a bit and I came back here and played well, so this victory means a lot to me.

“I am so happy for everything. I hope that victory helps me a lot for the next couple of tournaments, but winning here for the ninth time is unbelievable.”

Monfils fought back after losing the first set to force a decider, but Nadal powered through for a record-equalling 28th ATP 1000 title.

The 29-year-old highlighted his decision to step up his forehand efforts in the third set and it was that swing that provided his winner in vintage fashion.

“It was a tough match. I felt that I needed to hit more with my forehand and it was tough to find that feeling, but in the most important moment I decided to go for the shots and to hit my forehand deeper and go for winners. I did and that was the difference,” added Nadal.

“The first two sets were unbelievably tough – so many big points. It was a great final and an unbelievable victory for me so very emotional and very happy.

“Gael is playing so well too, so that’s very important for my confidence and I hope to keep going like this.”

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