Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal was unable to retain his title at the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters in Monaco this year, losing to Spanish compatriot David Ferrer.
World Number one Rafael Nadal failed to regain his Monte-Carlo Masters crown this year, after falling to a 7-6 6-4 defeat to fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in the quarter-final stages of the competition. It appeared, however, to be least of Nadal’s troubles as the tennis star, who is no stranger to playing his hand at poker, was spotted in a nearby casino earlier in April. Although that still gave Nadal ample time to prepare for the competition, it once again proved that the Spaniard is susceptible to a game of poker or two.
Nadal has become well-known for his love of the card game and has even become a brand Ambassador for PokerStars, after playing several high profile poker games for the company.
His most recent table-affair saw him face Female World Number One Vanessa Selbst, in a heads-up charity game, which took place on 11 April.
The Spaniard has been no stranger to the tables and has featured in several high profile TV spots and ads for the poker company, all the while competing in various charity events. He is also on PokerStars’ celebrity poker team and has a history of winning big jackpots through his card-playing abilities in the past.
Nadal was vying for a record ninth Monte Carlo Masters title victory and his victory over Italian Andreas Seppi in the third round resulted in Nadal becoming only the eleventh man in tennis to reach the 300th victory milestone on clay. The victory also took the Spaniard’s record to an impressive 50-2 and he will surely now have his sights on countryman Carlos Moya’s 337 win-record on clay, although he will have to wait until his next tournament on the court variant to do so. Moya was the most recent tennis star since Nadal to reach the 300-win mark on the court of clay.
The World number one’s loss to Ferrer earned his compatriot a place in the last four, although, Ferrer was ultimately powerless to stop the eventual tournament winner Stanislas Wawrinka from defeating him 6-1 7-6 in order to reach the final. Wawrinka then went on to defeat Roger Federer in the final, in what was billed as an all-Swiss bout.
Federer defeated second-ranked Novak Djokovic, who ended Nadal’s eight-year reign last year and was the defending champion of the Monte Carlo Masters, in order to reach the final.
Wawrinka’s victory will likely go some way in closing the gap between the top two ranked Djokovic and Nadal, who are several thousand points ahead of the third-placed Swiss star in the points rankings.
The Monte Carlo Masters was just the first of several competitions on clay for Nadal, who is famously dubbed ‘The King of Clay’, as he now moves onto the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. The Spaniard then moves onto competitions in Madrid and then Rome, before culminating the eight period with the defence of his Roland Garros title, although he will likely now be wary of Wawrinka, who has finally won his first Masters 1000 crown.