The 2010 Monte Carlo Open men’s singles semi finals have been played and have set up an all Spanish men’s singles final. Today we will provide a preview of the men’s final, cover what happened in the semi finals and provide updates on the score in the final.
Today’s final will commence at 2:30pm local time in Monte-Carlo (8:30pm Hong Kong time) and will be played on Court Central at the Monte-Carlo Country Club in a stadium with a capacity of 10,800 people. The Dunlop Fort tennis ball will be used in the battle between No.2 seed Rafael Nadal and No.6 seed Fernando Verdasco.
Nadal appears to be reaching new heights despite all of the negative press about him. Nadal will be playing for his 6th Monte-Carlo title in a row. Nadal is pictured above, right at the contact point with this serve when the ball is on his strings. The 1.85m Mallorcan has enjoyed the transition from the hard courts at the 2010 Miami Open event (where the above photo was taken) to the clay in Monte-Carlo.
The former World No.1 seems to have the ball on a string losing only 2 games in his first 2 matches, then posting strong straight set victories over the in-form, Juan Carlos Ferrero and David Ferrer to set up an opportunity to win his first ATP title in 11 months.
The former World No.1 actually looks faster on the clay than in the past, which is terrible news for his opponents that face him on his beloved clay. The 6-time Grand Slam singles champion will be looking to tie Roger Federer with the 16 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles. Andre Agassi has the most with 17.
The 23 year old Nadal continues to show everybody that he has not lost a step and remains the player to beat throughout the clay court season, including being the favourite at Roland Garros in 2010. Nadal proved too strong for Ferrer and was very clever in limiting Ferrer’s major strength.
Nadal prevented Ferrer from running around his backhand and powering his forehand by taking some pace off his forehand and hitting it shorter and wider into Ferrer’s backhand side. This forced Ferrer very wide on the backhand half of the court and made it very difficult for him to play his favourite forehand. Ferrer tried to go for a number of backhands down the line but made too many errors.
When Nadal had his chances to use his forehand once he was in control of the point, he changed it up by hitting to Ferrer’s forehand corner of the court. Ferrer was so used to running to cover the wide shot to his backhand that he was caught out running the wrong way a number of times. Nadal won 6-2 6-3 to improve to 10-3 against Ferrer and to take their last 6 matches on the trot.
Nadal will be playing a mirror image of himself in the final when he faces a player who knows his game inside out. Both Nadal and Verdasco are left hander’s, Spaniards, possess very strong forehands, are extremely fit and love extending the points, which sets the stage for a very interesting final.
The 26 year old Verdasco will have his best chance to beat Nadal after displaying a very impressive level of play against No.2 seed Novak Djokovic. Verdasco played freely proving far too strong for Djokovic who did not have the timing and rhythm on his serve once again. This really seemed to undermine the 2008 Australian Open singles champion’s confidence and timing with his ground strokes, from which he hit an abnormally high number of unforced errors.
Verdasco broke a streak of 5 losses in a row to Djokovic and is riding a high having made his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi final and now his first final. Verdasco will be going in with nothing to lose, whereas Nadal will be the overwhelming favourite and be feeling the pressure to end all the talk that he is slipping. Nadal last won a tournament 11 months ago. Verdasco will need to break Nadal’s winning streak against him, but as always, the longer a streak runs the sooner it is likely to end.
Verdasco is due for a win against Nadal and who could forget the unbelievable match they played in the 2009 Australian Open semi finals where they battled it out in 5 sets for over 5 hours! The 1.88m Verdasco has already won an ATP Tour singles final this year and will be going for his 2nd. It will be critical for Verdasco to try to play aggressively to put Nadal on the defensive in order to control the points so that he can create opportunities to finish off points.
Let’s hope for another match like that Australian Open semi final. Prediction: Verdasco in an explosion of ground stroke rallies. The updates will be posted right here once the match begins….Woah! Nadal won 6-o 6-1.
Stay tuned to this tennis website today as we will have more to follow. For further information about Monte-Carlo click this link -> Monte-Carlo 2010: April 10-18.
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