Rafael Nadal is aiming for his ninth ATP Monte Carlo title on the spin this week and the ‘King of Clay’ is a red-hot 1/2 favourite. Nadal was a fresh-faced 16-year-old when he was knocked out in the third round by Guillermo Coria in April 2003. Since then he has not last a match at the Monaco-based tournament winning a record-breaking eight consecutive times.
The Spaniard has been winning in style as well. Since that defeat Nadal has won 86 per cent of his games in straight sets. Rafa has lost just two games against R0ger Federer on clay in his career and beaten Novak Djokovic in 86 per cent of their clashes on the surface. The world number five has never lost to Andy Murray on the clay either.
On paper Nadal’s form is rock solid, on the clay it is even better. To celebrate Nadal’s mind-blowing success, here are ten events that happened last time he lost at Monte Carlo.
1. This advert sparked a dance craze and sent ‘Make Luv’ by Room 5 and Oliver Cheatham to the top of the charts
2. All the cool kids wanted to get their hands on the latest in mobile technology – the Nokia 3300
3. Major Charles Ingram was on trial for allegedly cheating his way to a million through some clever coughing
4. Teenage hearts were broken as S Club 7 split up
5. David Beckham fell out with Alex Ferguson and left Manchester United for Real Madrid in a £25 million move
6. Eric Djemba Djemba came in to bolster Fergie’s midfield
7. England won the Six Nations and completed the Grand Slam. Then Jonny Wilkinson did this in the World Cup final against Australia
8. 60 per cent of One Direction hadn’t even been born
9. World number 396 Ben Curtis caused a shock and won the British Open with a score of one-under-par
10. Beyonce was busy doing this #Smokin