Rafa admitted he played his worst match of the tournament in the semifinal, but it was still enough to defeat Kohlschreiber in straight sets and advance to the final.
Nadal aims to clinch his record ninth Barcelona title, while Nishikori seeks to become the third player in history (after Mats Wilander and Rafael Nadal) to lift the Conde de Godo Trophy three years in a row.
Kei Nishikori is the two-time defending champion:
Nishikori or Nadal, who do you think will win?
Photo credit: Banc Sabadell
Rafael Nadal, who aims to lift his record ninth title in Barcelona, defeated Fabio Fognini in straight sets 6-2 7-6 to advance to the semifinal. With a win in the final on Sunday, he would equalize Guillermo Vilas record of 49 clay-court titles.
Photo credit: Banco Sadabell
Alexander Zverev celebrated his 19th birthday with a hard-fought win over 15th Thomaz Bellucci 6-3 6-7 7-5. He’ll face Malek Jaziri in the third round.
2-time defending champion Kei Nishikori started his 2016 clay court campaign with a 6-4 6-2 victory over Thiemo de Bakker. His next opponent is Jérémy Chardy.
Rafa is back in the winners’ circle! Nadal claimed his 9th Monte Carlo title, as he defeated Gael Monfils 7-5 5-7 6-0 in an exciting final. He has now won 48 clay court titles, just one short of Guillermo Vilas’ record.
The victory here confirms that I am better and I am very happy, no? Is very, very emotional week for me, very important event. Probably Monte-Carlo is one of the most important places in my career without any doubt.
Win again here after three years is something so special for me. So very happy for that.
Check out our Monte Carlo 2016 coverage.