Monte Carlo Masters: Novak Djokovic stuns Rafael Nadal in clay-court final
Novak Djokovic brought an end to Rafael Nadal's winning streak in Monte Carlo with a 6-2 7-6 victory in Sunday's final.
Last Updated: 21/04/13 6:59pm
The Serbian world No 1 exacted sweet revenge for last year's crushing defeat in the Principality with one of the performances of his career to lift the clay-court crown for the first time after final defeats to Nadal in 2009 and 2012.
The Serb was thumped 6-3 6-1 on Court Central 12 months ago but took the match to Nadal from the off, breaking twice to put himself on the verge of a first-ever bagel against the Spaniard, who simply couldn't live with the Serb's fearsome two-handed backhand.
Nadal avoided the ignominy of a 6-0 set after staving off five set points and, after getting on the board, swiftly broke Djokovic to spark brief thoughts of a comeback.
Those were swiftly quashed, though, as Djokovic wrapped up the set 6-2 in 49 minutes when the eight-time champion double faulted.
Nadal at least took some momentum into the second set, which he started with a love service game before breaking in game five.
A trademark fizzing forehand pass from Nadal helped him towards a 4-2 lead and the Monte Carlo faithful appeared on course for the deciding set they desperately craved.
But Djokovic had other ideas, breaking back when Nadal's backhand erred into the tramlines twice, only to relinquish serve once more.
At 6-5 Nadal had the chance to serve for the set, only to watch on from across the net as Djokovic played arguably his best game of the match to break to love and force a tie-break.
The Serb was in the groove at this stage, and blitzed into a commanding lead before capturing the trophy with a crisp forehand winner.