Even king of clay Rafael Nadal was struggling on Sunday to comprehend the full significance of his ninth title from ten finals at the Monte Carlo Masters.
The Spaniard who has ruled for most of his career on the dirt, went for two and three-quarter hours before beating Frenchman Gael Monfils 7-5, 5-7, 6-0 in a morale-boosting victory of massive proportions.
“Winning nine times here is something unbelievable for me. Outside of that, that is something so special. Compete well two weeks in a row is something so positive,” Nadal said.
“I have another chance next week in Barcelona, I going to try my best again.”
After last lifting a title in the Principality in 2012 and then losing a 2013 final to Novak Djokovic, Nadal was overjoyed with his latest success, his 68th title as he played in his 100th career final.
“I’ve been a couple of time without winning big, big tournaments, I’m enjoying this moment. I’ve worked hard to have this trophy with me. I am enjoying this moment.
“It’s an emotional moment after some tough times. But that’s part of the life, is part of the sports in general.
“I’m very happy today. I hope and I believe that Indian Wells and this week - two tournaments in a row - I’ve been playing at a very high level, That’s so important, that’s what I needed.”
The Spaniard said that a year and a half of comeback effort has finally paid dividends as he won his first title since last summer and first Masters 1000 honour in almost two years.
“I have been working hard. Last year was a tough year - I don’t want to talk about it anymore, I was nervous during the matches.
“It is hard work every day to slow down that (problem). The victories help. but I’m still not 100 per cent perfect, I don’t have that (emotional and weakened) feeling I had last year on court.
“I’m very happy for that. I’m playing better. It’s obvious.”