The two semifinals from the 2015 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters were played on Saturday, matches that featured Tomas Berdych, Gael Monfils, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic. At stake was a spot in the final of the first Masters Series clay court event of the season and a chance to tally 1000 ranking points toward making the year-end World Tour Finals.
In the first semifinal from Monaco, a tiny country south of France, Berdych continued to play the strong tennis that he has thus far displayed in 2015. The Czech No. 1 defeated Gael Monfils 6-1, 6-4 to advance to the final.
Afterward Berdych commented on the match:
“This year is going pretty well,” the 2015 Australian Open semifinalist said. “It’s going almost the way we set it up. We’re missing a trophy yet as a team and me personally, but it’s another chance tomorrow.”
Berdych has made a point of the fact that he is missing some trophies in what has still been an impressive career. Unquestionably, the desire is there to win but there is good reason to believe that he will fall short in the final on Sunday.
Firstly, Berdych does not have a history of success in championship matches. Overall he is just 10-16 in finals and his winning percentage is even worse in the championship matches of major tournaments. In total, Berdych has been to the final of three Masters Series events and one Grand Slam heading into the 2015 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters final. In those four matches combined, he has produced just one victory and that was way back in 2005.
In the Monte-Carlo final, the Czech Republic’s top player will have to face and defeat Novak Djokovic in order to claim another title. But the World No. 1 appears to be as dominant as ever as he dismissed Rafael Nadal in straight sets on Saturday, something that is almost unheard of in clay court tennis. The line score was 6-3, 6-3 and the result, which was between the top two favorites to win in Roland Garros later this spring, has made Djokovic an all-the-more-convincing favorite to win the 2015 French Open.
Djokovic, unlike Berdych, has not had trouble closing out tournaments in his career. The Serb has 51 titles to date, including numerous in the Master Series. Furthermore, Djokovic is a crushing 18-2 against his Czech counterpart although it is certainly worth noting that Berdych won their most recent clay court affair (Rome 2013).
The championship match is scheduled to start not before 2:30pm on Sunday from Monte-Carlo and it will follow the men’s doubles match.