MONTE CARLO, Monaco - Rafael Nadal needed just 76 minutes to defeat fellow Spaniard and fellow lefty Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the final of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters on Sunday, 6-1 6-3. It was somewhat of a routine final, but by winning it, Nadal unlocked a whole bunch of milestones.
Here are seven things the former World No.1 achieved by winning Monte Carlo on Sunday:
He won his first ATP World Tour title in almost a year. It had been exactly a day short of a year since Nadal won his last title - he won Barcelona on April 24, 2016, and this title on April 23, 2017.
He won his 29th career Masters 1000 title. Nadal is now one away from the all-time record for most Masters 1000 titles, which belongs to Novak Djokovic with 30. Roger Federer is next with 26.
He won his milestone 50th career clay court title. Nadal is the first man in the Open Era to win 50 career clay court titles. He was previously tied for the Open Era record with Guillermo Vilas at 49.
He won his milestone 70th career title. Nadal is just the fifth man to reach 70 career titles in the Open Era, after Jimmy Connors (109), Ivan Lendl (94), Federer (91) and John McEnroe (77).
He’s the first man in the Open Era to win the same tournament 10 times. Nadal was already the only man to win the same event nine times, at Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Roland Garros, and now he’s the only man to do it 10 times. Only one woman in the Open Era has won the same event 10 or more times - that would be Martina Navratilova, who won Eastbourne 11 times and Chicago 12 times.
He’s just the second man to win a Masters 1000 in their teens, 20s and 30s. With six in his teens, 22 in his 20s and now one in his 30s, Nadal is the second man to acheve the feat after Andre Agassi.
He’s now won at least one title every year for the last 14 years. Nadal won his first ATP World Tour title at Sopot back in 2004 and hasn’t gone a single year since then without winning a title. His highest total for a single year came the next year in 2005 when he won a whopping 11 titles.
All of the milestones weren’t lost on Nadal: “I feel lucky to keep playing tennis and being healthy all these years,” the Spaniard said after the final. “For me, this is a very important day in my career.”
Here are some highlights from Nadal’s championship victory over Ramos-Vinolas in Monte Carlo: