Sunday, April 15, 2012

Monaco Beats Isner To Win U.S. Clay Title

Juan Monaco of Argentina won his 2nd clay court tournament of 2012, beating American John Isner 6-2 3-6 6-3 to win the singles tile at the U.S. Clay Court Championship in Houston. Isner, who is now the top-ranked American player in the world ranked #9, was undefeated on clay for the year, dropped to 7-1 with the loss. Monaco is World #16 but is 11-2 on clay for 2012 and lost a very tough semifinal match on hard courts against World #1Novak Djokovic in Miami two weeks ago.

Interestingly, Djokovic is in Monaco this weekend preparing to play in the Monte Carlo Masters, the clay-court tournament which world #2 Rafael Nadal has won a record 7 times, and sports an astonishing 39-1  record, which includes a 37-match winning streak. Nadal has lost an excruciating 7 consecutive finals to the Serb, including the last three major finals. Djokovic was responsible for Nadal's only two losses on clay in 2011, at the Madrid Masters and at the Rome Masters. This year, yours truly will be attending the Rome and Madrid Masters in person!

The mental significance of Djokovic going to Monte Carlo to face Nadal at his strength can not be underestimated. World #2 Andy Murray is also there, but World #4 Roger Federer is not.

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