For the first time in 2015, Djokovic and Nadal took part in a professional encounter. They had not stepped across the net from each other since their last official meeting back in Roland Garros. The blockbuster affair was one that many anticipated for Saturdy’s main attraction, and while the final score may indicate a mild contest, it certainly had its high points.
Djokovic suffered from a slow start and was down a break early on but rarely faced much trouble from that point onwards. He did pay some impressive, high-quality tennis with his greatest adversary, though. Eventually, he won the match 6-3, 6-3.
“When you get to play somebody who has won so many times, so many matches on clay courts, he’s no doubt the best player that ever played the game on this surface, you got to use the opportunities. You have to be able to step in. This is the only way I was going to win against him or any other match that I play against him, especially on this surface, is to be aggressive and play my style of the game. I was aware of that.
“I’m just very pleased with the performance, honestly. Other than the first three games that I was getting into the match, it was a really, really solid performance.”
In the earlier contest of the day, Tomas Berdych breezed into the Monte Carlo final for the first time in his career with a straight sets victory against Gael Monfils. He defeated the Frenchman 6-1, 6-4 in a match that lasted just 67 minutes.
“This year is going pretty well,” said Berdych. “It’s going almost the way we set it up. We’re missing a trophy yet as a team and me personally, but it’s another chance tomorrow. I think I’m going to try to put myself [to be] in the best possible position to be ready for it.”
Djokovic and Berdych will next take part in their 21st encounter on the AP World Tour to determine the 2015 champion at the Monte Carlo Masters.