Rafael Nadal easily beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1, 6-3 in an all-Spanish final on Sunday to win the Monte Carlo Masters for the 10th time and clinch the 70th title of his career.
It was Nadal’s first title of the season, having lost his previous three finals — two of those to Roger Federer.
Nadal faced little opposition on his way to becoming the first player to win 10 tournaments at the same venue in the Open era, and the first to reach 50 on clay. He was previously level on clay titles with Argentine Guillermo Vilas.
The only final Nadal has lost at Monte Carlo was to Novak Djokovic in 2013.
Ramos-Vinolas never looked like posing a threat.
Appearing in his first Masters final, the 15th-seeded Ramos-Vinolas saved three break points in his first service game and was 0-40 down in his next. Nadal served out the set in 30 minutes with an ace.
Nadal’s 29th Masters title moves him one behind Djokovic’s record. He will also have his sights set on a 10th title in Barcelona next week — Nadal’s previous career title, almost one year ago.
Since then, Federer has beaten him in finals at the Australian Open and the Miami Masters, either side of a win for big-serving American Sam Querrey at Acapulco, Mexico. Federer also beat Nadal in the fourth round at Indian Wells, but the 18-time Grand Slam champion skipped Monte Carlo this year.
Ramos-Vinolas had lost his two previous matches to Nadal in straight sets — both in Barcelona. He competed better in the third set, holding to love in the seventh game to provoke sympathetic applause from the crowd, but a second career title never looked realistic.
Ramos-Vinolas saved two match points after matching Nadal’s aggression, but a poor unforced error gave Nadal a third match point and Ramos-Vinolas double-faulted to lose in 1 hour, 16 minutes of a one-sided contest.
Nadal’s celebrations were somewhat muted, and he gave Ramos-Vinolas a sympathetic pat on the back at the net. Nadal tilted his head back and put both hands on his head as his achievement began to sink in, while his opponent buried his head into a towel.
Ramos-Vinolas had never played in a Masters final before. He never really stood a chance against the player widely considered the greatest ever on clay.