Tennis: Nadal eases past Nishikori to claim record-extending 11th Monte Carlo title

Spain's Rafael Nadal holding the trophy after beating Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-2 in the final of the Monte Carlo Masters on April 22, 2018. Nadal's 31st Masters title is also an outright record, pulling him out of a tie with Novak Djokovic. PHOTO: AFP

MONTE CARLO (REUTERS) - Rafael Nadal clinched a record-extending 11th Monte Carlo tennis title as he geared up for his French Open campaign, with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Japan's Kei Nishikori in the final on Sunday (April 22).

Top seed Nadal, who is also targeting an 11th Roland Garros trophy this year, extended his run of consecutive sets won on clay to 36 after recording the win in an hour and 33 minutes.

The Spaniard's record 31st Masters title also ensured he retained the world No. 1 ranking ahead of rival Roger Federer.

Nishikori, who missed a large part of last season with a wrist injury, grabbed an early break in the Monaco sunshine before his 31-year-old opponent won four games in a row to take control of the match.

Nadal took the opening set with a blistering forehand and went on to convert two break-point opportunities in the second to lift the title.

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