Rafael Nadal beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to become the first finalist at the 2013 Monte Carlo Rolex Masters, overcoming the Frenchman in straight sets 6-3 7-6 (3).
Tsonga got off to a solid start, earning himself a couple of break points at 40-15 up in the fourth game, but the Spaniard averted the threat, levelling the score at 2-2. It was Nadal who subsequently stepped up a notch, forcing Tsonga to hit an extra ball in most of the rallies and eventually taking his serve for a 3-2 lead. The Frenchman dropped serve for the second time when serving to stay in the set, allowing Nadal to wrap it up after just 36 minutes of play. It seemed that the Spanish matador was on his way to reach another final here at the Monte Carlo Country Club, having won this title on eight previous occasions.
Nadal managed to carry the momentum into set two as he broke his opponent for the third time in today’s match just before consolidating the break for a 3-0 lead. Rafa started to dominate the rallies even more, keeping Tsonga on the back foot for most of the time. However, Jo-Wilfried was far from giving up and after the Spaniard not being able to serve out the match when 5-1 up plus wasting three match points in the very next game, Tsonga played another superb game to take Rafa’s serve yet again, reducing the Spaniard’s lead to 5-4. Nadal found himself another match point up (his 4th) on the Frenchman’s serve in the 12 game, but Tsonga kept his cool, forcing a tiebreak. Both players held serve until 3-3, when the Spaniard got to his first mini break, hitting an outstanding forehand passing shot. After holding two consecutive serves, he earned himself another three match points, this time converting the very first one.
This was Nadal’s 46th consecutive win here in Monte Carlo, an amazing achievement.