The 2015 Argentina Open (ATP Buenos Aires) is complete and Rafael Nadal, the tournament’s No. 1 seed, has added another clay court title to his already impressive count. Nadal defeated Argentine Juan Monaco on Sunday 6-4, 6-1 to claim the 250-series tournament. For his efforts, Nadal, who is now 6-1 against Monaco, will move up to the World No. 3 ranking on Monday as Andy Murray will drop down.
Appearing in his 93rd tour-level final, the World No. 4 added a 65th overall crown. Nadal assumed sole possession of fifth place on the Open Era titles list, breaking a tie with Pete Sampras and Bjorn Borg.
The title in Buenos Aires represented Nadal’s first since winning the 2014 French Open way back in June. The King of Clay, following a challenging couple of weeks, will now be idle on tour this upcoming week.
The 28-year-old Spaniard needed one hour and 27 minutes to prevail 6-4, 6-1, breaking on four of nine occasions while not facing a break point on his own serve. After a two-hour rain delay postponed the start of the match, Nadal registered the first break for 4-3 in the opening set. In front of a packed crowd that included Argentine legends Guillermo Vilas, Guillermo Coria, David Nalbandian and Gaston Gaudio, he would reel off eight of the next 10 games to emerge victorious. Nadal converted on his first match point when Monaco fired a forehand long.
In fact there are no ATP tournaments featured in the days ahead although fans of men’s tennis will be turning their attention to Davis Cup play. Nadal, who represents Spain, will not be active in the international team tournament as the Spanish contingent is not in the World Group this season. However tennis fans should expect to see Nadal competing on the hard courts of Indian Wells when that tournament gets underway in California in about a week’s time.
Juan Monaco, who has to be disappointed following a loss in his country’s capital, is not expected to play in Davis Cup either. His country will be hosting Brazil, in fact Argentina will host Brazil in Buenos Aires, however Monaco is not listed as a nomination to represent Argentina at this point. Leonardo Mayer, Federico Delbonis, Diego Sebastian Schwartzman, and Carlos Berlocq are the players expect to represent Argentina later this week.
Making his first appearance in the Argentine capital in 10 years, Nadal won the title at a fourth different Golden Swing tournament, adding to crowns in Acapulco (2005, ’13), Sao Paulo (2005, ’13) and Rio de Janeiro (2014). He improves his FedEx ATP Head2Head advantage over Monaco to 6-1, earning $91,050 and 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points.
The Mallorca native extends the run of Spanish dominance in Buenos Aires to seven consecutive years with a titlist (Ferrer 2012-14, Almagro ’11, Ferrero ’10, Robredo ’09).
Former World No. 10 Monaco was bidding to become the first home grown Argentina Open champion since Nalbandian won the title in 2008. Appearing in an ATP World Tour singles final for the ninth straight year, the Tandil native was looking for his ninth title overall.
Those looking to following Monaco should look for him to be active in Indian Wells as well where he could pick up some match-wins with the right draw.