Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were the opponents in the final of the 2009 Monte Carlo Masters. Nadal scored a 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 victory after a grueling two hours and 43 minutes for his fifth consecutive crown in the Principality. Rafa saved six out of 11 break chances and used seven return chances to control the scoreboard in sets one and three.
Rafa beat Novak on clay for the seventh time in as many encounters, although he had to work hard to stay perfect against the Serb on the slowest surface. They embraced over 40 exchanges of ten shots or more and struggled for nearly three hours despite playing 24 games.
Novak stayed in touch with Rafa in the most demanding clashes, showing his fantastic court coverage and groundstrokes at the highest level that always demanded an extra shot from Nadal. The Spaniard built an advantage in the shortest and medium rallies but still had to give it his all to emerge victorious.
It took Nadal almost an hour to get the final set despite only having seven games on the scoreboard! Novak tried an aggressive approach, charging to the net and executing his shots. Still, he pulled nearly 50 unforced errors that hurt his chances.
Nadal lost ground in the second set and recovered in the third set, eager to chase the fifth straight crown in the Principality. The Spaniard had the upper hand early in the third set and brought the win home with reliable performance.
Nadal praised his rival, calling Djokovic a formidable rival on any surface and the one who always does his best.
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic met in the 2009 Monte Carlo final.
“I started playing well after being down 3-1 and won five games in a row.
I had my chances at the start of the second set, but didn’t take them. After that I struggled with my serve and couldn’t do much. I came back in the early stages of the third set and played well to get in front. I was focused despite a few mistakes.
In the third, I was feeling good physically and mentally, landing some passing shots and making fewer mistakes. I need to start the clay court season with a win; It’s good for my confidence. I never expected to win five Monte Carlo titles; It’s one of the most important events and some of the world’s best players have played here over the years.
Novak is an excellent player on all surfaces and is one of the world’s best clay court players. Playing against him is never easy and today was no exception” said Rafael Nadal.