Novak Djokovic reached the final at the ATP Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo. Although he missed the chance to extend his seven-match win streak in finals over Rafael Nadal as he was beaten 6-1, 6-3, Djokovic had a great start into the clay court season.
The 24-old Serb played brilliantly all week long with his YouTek IG Speed MP despite grieving over the death of his beloved grandfather in Serbia. "What can I say? I've never been caught up in this kind of emotional situation before. I'm just happy to reach the finals really under the circumstances. It's been a very difficult week for me to go through mentally," said Djokovic.
Three HEAD racquet rebels figured in the Monte Carlo Masters semi-final, with Gilles Simon with his YouTek IG Prestige MP, giving Nadal a challenge. To reach the final, Novak Djokovic had to get past Tomas Berdych (YouTek IG Instinct MP)
Djokovic had beaten Nadal in their last seven finals - including on clay at Madrid and Rome in 2011. The HEAD player won their last meeting, an epic six-hour Australian Open final in late January.
The world No. 1 was playing in his 45th ATP final and now stands 30-15. Monte Carlo is one of only two Masters 1000 tournament that Djokovic has not won yet - Cincinnati is the other. Djokovic stands 24-3 on the season with titles at the Australian Open and Miami.
"I'm sorry for my performance today, Rafa played well and deserved to win today," said Djokovic, who went down in 78 minutes. "I'm still very happy to reach the finals for the second time." This is one of my favourite events at the most beautiful centre court in the world." Finally he added: "I just hope to have enough time now to regroup and to rest and to recharge the batteries and move on."