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Page last updated at 08:03 GMT, Sunday, 10 October 2010 09:03 UK

Rafael Nadal beats Gael Monfils to win Japan open title

Rafael Nadal
Nadal secured the 43rd title of his career in Japan

World number one Rafael Nadal eased past Gael Monfils 6-1 7-5 to clinch the Japan Open title in Tokyo.

The 24-year-old Spaniard was in imperious form and did not concede a single break point in the match on his way to his seventh title of the season.

Some brutal hitting from the baseline helped Nadal secure the first set, finished off with a ferocious forehand.

Frenchman Monfils fought hard in the second set but was broken in the 11th game and Nadal served out for victory.

"I want to finish the season well and winning titles is a perfect way to finish," said Nadal.

I'm going to try to keep it going in Shanghai and the rest of the season and in London - the most difficult tournament for me

Rafael Nadal

"It's difficult to keep winning. I have to enjoy these moments because you never know when they will end."

The match was all over in only 77 minutes as Nadal bounced back from a semi-final defeat in Bangkok last week to secure the 43rd title of his career in a year when he has won Wimbledon, the US Open and four tournaments on clay.

The Spaniard made short work of the opening set as he outclassed his opponent, who he has now beaten in seven of their eight meetings.

Monfils, who survived a fright when he took an early tumble and turned his ankle, raised his game in the second set - a highlight being two returns from two Nadal overheads in the 10th game.

But in the next game, a net cord gave Nadal break point which he converted with a sliced backhand return floated down the line.


Nadal wrapped up the match with a big serve to the body and he celebrated by striking a gunslinger's pose as a packed crowd of 10,000 erupted in cheers.

The nine-time Grand Slam winner, making his debut in Japan, spent 20 minutes with fans, signing everything from baseball caps to teddy bears before he left the court.

And he still has objectives remaining in thye closing weeks of the season, with next week's Shanghai Masters in his sights as well as November's season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London.

"I'm going to try to keep it going in Shanghai and the rest of the season and in London - the most difficult tournament for me," he said.

"Gael is a great player. He beat me in 2009 and we had a tough match at the US Open the same year but I played really well today."

Monfils said: "I think Rafa likes my type of game and I didn't find a solution to give him any trouble. Rafa is so tough to play against."

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see also
Nadal struggles into Japan final
09 Oct 10 |  Tennis
Nadal wins but Roddick bows out
08 Oct 10 |  Tennis
Nadal reaches Japan Open quarters
07 Oct 10 |  Tennis
Nadal & Roddick through in Tokyo
05 Oct 10 |  Tennis
Angry Roddick falls to Tipsarevic
02 Sep 10 |  Tennis
Garcia-Lopez in shock Nadal win
02 Oct 10 |  Tennis
Murray cruises through in Beijing
05 Oct 10 |  Tennis
Tennis on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Tennis

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