Tennis player Rafael Nadal crowned "King of Clay"

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Monday, April 24, 2006

At the start of the tournament, 19-year-old Rafael Nadal of Spain was seeded as the second favourite to take the Monte Carlo Masters clay court title, ranked only behind the current world number one, 25-year-old Roger Federer of Switzerland. The finals match-up in question, the first where the number 1 and 2 seeds faced each other since 1985, was won in four sets; 6-2, 6-7, 6-3, 7-6, ending in just eleven minutes short of four hours.

As the lengthy matchtime suggests, the action on the court was a see-saw battle with both players looking as though they would go on to win at different points of the match. At times, it was difficult to see who was the more experienced. Nadal, the more successful of the two on a clay tennis surface, played to Roger Federer's weakness. Roger Federer didn't give up without a fight, but his best, which is capable of beating anybody on his day, seemed to remain in the locker room as Roger Federer's aggression came a rare second to Nadal's accurate baseline style.

Nadal wins the Monte Carlo Masters for a second consecutive time. Nadal can celebrate his unexpected but much welcomed victory in Monaco, if only for a little while ahead of the next tournament in the clay court series.