Rafael Nadal does his trademark trophy pose after winning the Monte Carlo Masters. Photo: Eric Gaillard, Reuters
Rafael Nadal does his trademark trophy pose after winning the Monte Carlo Masters. Photo: Eric Gaillard, Reuters
Rafael Nadal returns a backhand to Albert Ramos-Vinolas at the Monte Carlo Masters on Sunday. Photo: Claude Paris, AP
Rafael Nadal returns a backhand to Albert Ramos-Vinolas at the Monte Carlo Masters on Sunday. Photo: Claude Paris, AP
Prince Albert II of Monaco applauds Rafael Nadal, while losing finalist Albert Ramos-Vinolas looks on. Photo: Eric Gaillard, Reuters
Prince Albert II of Monaco applauds Rafael Nadal, while losing finalist Albert Ramos-Vinolas looks on. Photo: Eric Gaillard, Reuters
Rafael Nadal returns a forehand volley in the Monte Carlo Masters final. Photo: Claude Paris, AP
Rafael Nadal returns a forehand volley in the Monte Carlo Masters final. Photo: Claude Paris, AP

MONTE CARLO – Rafael Nadal made history with a 10th Monte Carlo title on Sunday, but the Spanish star refused to entertain thoughts of adding a 10th French Open to his 14-title Grand Slam collection.

Spain’s 30-year-old king of clay claimed his 50th trophy on his favourite surface, his 70th overall and his first title in almost a year as he beat compatriot Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1 6-3 with a clinical winning effort which took just 76 minutes.

Nadal’s next target will be his home event in Barcelona, where he owns nine titles.

He has the same number at Roland Garros and could crack the 10 barrier in Paris under the right circumstances, but he is keeping his goals in perspective and not looking too far ahead.

“The next step is not Roland Garros, the next step is Barcelona,” said Nadal.

“I never take Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome, Madrid like a preparation for any other tournament. These tournaments are so important. That’s the real thing. Then Roland Garros arrives later. It is another important event for me.

“Next week, I am playing another very important event for me at home and I’m excited about that. Then I’m going to keep playing at home in Madrid.”

Nadal won eight Monte Carlo titles in a row from 2005 to 2012, but then lost to Novak Djokovic in the 2013 final. His 50 clay titles breaks the record he shared with Guillermo Vilas since April last year, when he lifted his ninth trophy in Barcelona.

“This is really unbelievable,” added Nadal. “To win 10 times in such an important event like Monte Carlo is something difficult to describe. Every year, it’s been a different feeling.

Prince Albert II of Monaco applauds Rafael Nadal, while losing finalist Albert Ramos-Vinolas looks on. Photo: Eric Gaillard, Reuters


“At the same time, it is always a unique moment every time I have this trophy with me. I feel lucky to keep playing tennis, being healthy all those years, to compete in one of the most beautiful events of the year, without a doubt.

“I’m very happy to win another one. For me, it is a very important day in my career.”

Ramos-Vinolas, who had upset number one Andy Murray and Marin Cilic in the best run of his career, knew he was outclassed on Sunday. “He was a little bit better in everything. When he’s a little bit better in everything, the difference after, it’s what we saw in the match,” said the 29-year-old.

“It’s not easy to play a final, to play against Rafa Nadal, to play with no sun today.

“He has a little bit more power than me in the game. Also, I think the cloud today didn’t help me.”