HEAD racquet rebel Novak Djokovic missed his chance for a second straight final at the Monte Carlo Masters in a 6-2, 6-2 semi-final defeat by sixth seed Fernando Verdasco. Djokovic, who sparred a year ago with Rafael Nadal for the prestige title in the Mediterranean principality, had another great start into the clay court season and wielded his YouTek Speed Pro to reach the semi final for the second time in a row.
Djokovic, who played two spring clay finals against Nadal in 2009 and owns the Dubai title this season, said he hit a bad patch at precisely the wrong time against Verdasco. But he added that after disappointing results during March on US hard courts, he's pleased with the progression of his game in the run-up to Roland Garros next month. "If I was physically feeling a little bit better on the court, I think I could have a good chance to be in the match with him.”
Djokovic will take a few days off before travelling to Rome for that Masters 1000 event from April 26. The Serb stands 18-5 this season and 1-1 in ATP finals.
In the doubles competition, HEAD player Nenad Zimonjic and partner Daniel Nestor became the first double team in eight years to defend the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters title. The duo was leading 6-3, 2-0 against Bhupathi/Mirnyi when Bhupathi retired due to a leg injury.
In Barcelona, HEAD player Roberta Vinci, playing with a YouTek Extreme Pro, reached the final where she lost that WTA final 6-1, 6-1 to fellow Italian Francesca Schiavone. Among others, Vinci beat No. 2 seed Aravane Rezai on the way to the final.