Rafa Nadal clinched a record-extending 11th Monte Carlo 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.
36 consecutive sets won on clay
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 number one ranking ahead of rival Roger Federer.
Early break not enough to throw Nadal off course
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 breakpoint opportunities in the second to lift the title.