Whatever happens in Sunday afternoon’s Monte Carlo Masters Final, the record of Spanish dominance in Monaco will be sustained, with Rafael Nadal or David Ferrer set to become the ninth Iberian winner in ten years.
The Spanish duo booked their places in the showpiece with victories over Andy Murray and Jurgen Melzer, with Ferrer’s triumph the more impressive as he dumped out Roger Federer’s conqueror in straight sets.
Yet despite having reached the final without dropping a set, and winning his most recent encounter with the world number one in January’s Australian Open quarter-finals, Ferrer is rated a huge 9/2 outsider.
The reason for that is that Nadal, who is 1/8 to claim his first trophy in over six months, has been dominant at the first clay court event of the season, winning there in each of the last six years and last losing in 2003.
And while Ferrer was left celebrating in their last encounter, he hasn’t had much to cheer about against his compatriot on clay, suffering defeat in each of their last eight meetings.
He has however pushed the 24-year-old to the limit in several of those collisions, including one of their three prior finals in Barcelona three years ago. There’s no reason why this one won’t go the distance too at 7/2.
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