Rafael Nadal powered to a record 11th Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters title with a straight-sets victory over Kei Nishikori.
The world number one recovered from going a break down early in the first set to win 6-3, 6-2 in 93 minutes, and has now won 36 consecutive sets on clay, a run which stretches back to the first round of last year’s French Open.
None of Nadal’s opponents have won more than four games in any of those sets, a statistic Nishikori looked like changing when he broke for a 2-1 lead at Monte Carlo Country Club.
However, Nadal had other ideas and broke straight back on his way to winning five of the next six games, the 31-year-old then breaking Nishikori twice more in the second set to seal a 31st Masters 1000 title, one more than Novak Djokovic.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony on court, Nadal said: “I want to congratulate Kei for a great week. It’s always difficult to be back from injury and I’m happy to see you again playing well.
“I want to thank all my team and my family. We had some tough moments during the last five months after a couple of injuries in a row.
“It’s great to have a group of great people behind me. I can say thank you very much always for being there and supporting me when I really need it.
“It’s always special for me to be back here, having this trophy. It’s one of the most important events of the year for me.”
As you can expect, tennis fans absolutely loved Nadal's speech after his win.
After retiring with a hip injury during his Australian Open quarter-final against Marin Cilic, Nadal withdrew from the Mexican Open, Indian Wells Masters, and Miami Open due to the problem.
The left-hander returned to action at the start of the month and won both his singles matches to help Spain beat Germany in the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup in Valencia.
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