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Rafael Nadal beats Novak Djokovic at Monte Carlo Masters

The Spaniard picks up his first title since last year's French Open, winning in Monaco for the eighth consecutive year.

April 22, 2012|Wire reports
  • Rafael Nadal celebrates after defeating Novak Djokovic in the final of the Monte Carlo Masters tournament on Sunday.
Rafael Nadal celebrates after defeating Novak Djokovic in the final of… (Valery Hache / AFP/Getty…)

Rafael Nadal finally managed to beat Novak Djokovic in a final, thrashing the top-ranked Serb, 6-3, 6-1, on Sunday to win the Monte Carlo Masters for the eighth consecutive year and end a run of seven straight defeats to his rival in title matches.

Nadal was hardly troubled by Djokovic in this one and broke the Serb's serve five times in a one-sided affair on clay to win his 42nd straight match at Monte Carlo. It was his first title since last year's French Open and the 47th of his career.

"I always loved this tournament since I was a kid. One of my dreams was play here," Nadal said. "It's a historic tournament [where] you see all your idols when you are a kid playing here."

The 25-year-old Nadal thrust his hands in the air after clinching victory in style with an ace that flew past the beleaguered Djokovic, who beat Nadal in an epic Australian Open final this year.

"If you see the finals I win here, all the finals are against probably top-six players," Nadal said. "That's something that makes the victories even more difficult."

Nadal now leads their head-to-head series, 17-14, but it was his first win against Djokovic since an early match at the 2010 ATP Finals in London. The Serb had beaten Nadal in three consecutive Grand Slam finals and handed him his only defeats on clay last year.

Serena Williams defeated Lesia Tsurenko, 6-3, 6-2, to send the United States back into the Fed Cup World Group by clinching a series victory over host Ukraine at Kharkiv.

Williams' win gave the U.S. an unassailable 3-0 lead. Christina McHale later won, 7-5, 6-3, against 17-year-old Ukrainian Elina Svitolina to secure a sweep of the singles matches. Americans Liezel Huber and Sloane Stephens completed a 5-0 rout with a 6-4, 6-1 win over 19-year-old twins Lyudmyla and Nadiya Kichenok in doubles.

Williams was making her first Fed Cup appearance on foreign soil in more than a decade to become eligible for the U.S. team at the London Olympics.

GOLF

Curtis wins Texas Open

Ben Curtis won the Texas Open for his first PGA Tour title since 2006, holding off Matt Every and John Huh in a tense back-nine finish for a two-stroke victory at San Antonio.

Curtis birdied the par-five 18th for an even-par 72 and nine-under total. It was a redeeming and emotional win for the 2003 British Open winner, who had only limited tour status after a long slump.

He has four PGA Tour titles, also winning the 2006 Booz Allen Classic and 84 Lumber Classic.

Every had a 71 and lost a chance at his first tour win with four blown putts. Huh roared back with a 69, but the Mayakoba Classic winner fell just short.

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David Frost and Michael Allen won the Champions Tour's Legends of Golf, shooting a 10-under 62 for a one-stroke victory over John Cook and Joey Sindelar in the better-ball event at Savannah, Ga.

Frost and Allen, coming off a victory last week at TPC Tampa Bay, finished at 29-under 187 at the Club at Savannah Harbor. Cook and Sindelar, former Ohio State teammates, closed with a 61.

Andy Bean and Chien Soon Lu (62), Jeff Sluman and Brad Faxon (63), and Tom Purtzer and Brad Bryant (64) tied for third at 27 under.

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Branden Grace won the China Open for his third European Tour victory of the year, closing with a three-under 69 to hold off 2011 winner Nicolas Colsaerts by three strokes at Tianjin.

The 23-year-old Grace, from South Africa, finished at 21-under 267 at Binhai Lake. He won the Joburg Open and Volvo Champions in consecutive weeks in South Africa in January.

Colsaerts, the winner last year at Luxehills, also shot a 69.

The event also was sanctioned by the OneAsia Tour and China Golf Assn.

Third-ranked Lee Westwood successfully defended his Indonesian Masters title, shooting a two-over 74 for a two-stroke victory over Thailand's Thaworn Wiratchant at Jakarta.

Westwood played 32 holes Sunday, finishing off a 65 in the rain-delayed third round. He had a 16-under 272 total at Royale Jakarta. Thaworn finished with a 67 in the Asian Tour event.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL

Dalhausser, Rogers triumph

Olympic champions Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers defeated Matt Fuerbringer and Nick Lucena, 21-17, 21-18, in an all-American final in the season-opening beach volleyball World Tour event at Brasilia, Brazil.

Dalhausser and Rogers, gold medalists in Beijing in 2008, needed 44 minutes to beat their countrymen, earning their third consecutive title at the event.

It was the duo's first tournament since Rogers injured his knee in August.

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