Having recorded seven straight losses to Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal was finally able to break the  unpleasant suite. This win marked his eighth (!) consecutive triumph in Monte Carlo – an achievement almost too impressive to be captured.

En suite I´ll give you a brief recapitulation of the match:

Nadal begun the match seemingly tense, losing six out of seven points, while Djokovic appeared to have found a rewarding trade between patience and action.  Decent serving, however, helped Nadal out of his initial concerns.

After an exploding backhand down the line, followed by a simple mistake from Djokovic, Nadal unexpectedly broke in the third game. This turn around was very comforting for the Spaniard who in the next game started to work out his ground strokes more aggressively.

The remainder of the first set exhibited a highly skilled tennis, although Djokovic  didn´t exhibit his normal spirits of mode. Lacking was the patience which often caused him to hit too flat, and with too small margins. At the same time Nadal excelled in his type of clay court tennis that has made him one out of millions.

His stinginess (zero mistakes on backhand in the first set) and aggressiveness with forehand are unbelievable, but this day I was most impressed by his serving. Compared to his former matches against Djokovic, Nadal chose a lot to serve on his forehand and into his body. His execution was almost hundred per cent accurate all through the match.

Second set turn out to be a big disappointment. After being broken directly, Djokovic lost almost all energy. Against Nadal, and on clay – that means chasing the wind. The match score was booked 6 – 3, 6 – 1. A devastating revenge!

From Nadals point of view he must feel relieved of an immense mental burden. The Ghost spelled Djokovic  must at least for the time being be gone, and all assumptions as to the coming clay season must be done in favor of Rafa – as we are used to.

Frankly, Djokovic ought to be a bit ashamed of his second set performance. It is not worthy number one in the world to resign as he undoubtedly did. Moreover overtly unwise, while he before the match exercised a mental grip on Nadal, which he now surrendered. A hundred per cent warring mode, sure would have forced the Spaniard into a number of nerve racking moments.

Nadal could now enjoy the luxury of serving for the match – without tense.