TOKYO (Reuters) - World number one Rafa Nadal overpowered Frenchman Gael Monfils 6-1 7-5 to win the Japan Open on Sunday to cap a week of “Nadal Fever” in Tokyo.
The Spaniard bounced onto the court like a prizefighter before the final and quickly had fifth seed Monfils on the ropes with some brutal hitting from the baseline.
Nadal clinched the first set with a ferocious forehand down the line but Monfils, who survived a fright when he took an early tumble and turned his ankle, raised his game in the second.
Luck deserted him in the 11th game, however, a net cord giving Nadal break point and he nosed ahead 6-5 when a sliced return floated past Monfils and landed flush on the line.
Nadal delivered the knockout punch in the next game, a big serve to the body ending the match and giving this year’s triple grand slam champion his seventh title of the year.