Rafael Nadal has continued his remarkable run in the Monte Carlo Masters by brushing aside Jarkko Nieminen 6-4, 6-3 in his second round match in Monaco.
Nadal was put through his paces by the Finn in the opening set as Nieminen was full of grit and determination. Indeed, Nieminen survived a break of his serve in the very first game, to battle gamely through the first set.
However, the Spaniard was able to wear down the Finn’s resistance and took the set 6-4. What followed was a more straight-forward set for the world No.2, as his class shone through in a thoroughly enjoyable match for the on-looking crowd.
Nadal has not been beaten in this tournament since his defeat to Guillermo Coria in 2003 and his remarkable love affair with Monaco seems to be continuing. He has not lost in this competition since 2005 (he missed 2004 through injury) and has amassed 41 consecutive wins on the Monte Carlo clay.
With this win, he also takes his personal head-to-head with Nieminen to 7-0 and is serving up notice to all challengers that he is coming to reclaim the No.1 spot in the world rankings. He is nowhere near peak form and yet, Nadal is relatively coasting at the moment. The best yet to come.