Djokovic tames Nadal to enter Monte Carlo final

Serbian to take on Czech Republic’s Berdych in title clash

By (AP)

Published: Sun 19 Apr 2015, 12:35 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 11:37 PM

Monaco — Top-ranked Novak Djokovic overcame a strong challenge from Rafael Nadal to reach the Monte Carlo Masters final with a 6-3, 6-3 win on Saturday.

Djokovic, who extended his current winning streak to 16 matches, will face sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych as he bids for a second title at the clay-court Masters.

With Prince Albert of Monaco among the onlookers, both players produced some stunning tennis in the semifinal as Nadal showed glimpses of his old self, mixing aggression and superb defensive shots.

But the Spaniard, who has been struggling to get back to his best after a wrist injury and an appendectomy, was not consistent enough to deny Djokovic a shot at his fourth Masters title in a row.

Following his title at the Paris Masters last year, Djokovic posted back-to-back victories at Indian Wells and Miami and will try to become the first player to win the first three Masters of the season.

Nadal will rue his missed chances in the seventh game of the opening set, when he was unable to seize the momentum after a stunning forehand down the line that wrongfooted the Serb. Even Djokovic clapped his racket in appreciation.

Earlier, Berdych overwhelmed Gael Monfis 6-1, 6-4 to advance to his first final in Monte Carlo.

Berdych immediately took control from the baseline and Monfils struggled to cope with the fast pace imposed by the big-hitting Czech. Monfils won just 11 points in a lopsided first set before the Frenchman changed his strategy, using more sliced shots to break up his opponent’s rhythm. The move paid off early in the second set when Monfils broke back to level at 1-1 as Berdych made two forehand errors.

“It’s always difficult when I’m up against Tomas, I can’t find the proper way to play him,” said the 14th-seeded Monfils after his sixth loss in seven matches against the Czech. “Hopefully I’ll find the solution one day.”

More news from Tennis