Rafael Nadal is glad he won a ninth Monte Carlo Masters title the hard way, after defeating Frenchman Gael Monfils 7-5, 5-7, 6-0 in an error-strewn final Sunday.
Normally, having to face 47 break points in five matches to win a tournament on clay would be a big cause for concern for the nine-time French Open champion. But the Spaniard sees it as a sign that his famed fighting qualities are coming back, compared to last year, when he was more prey than predator on clay.
"This week I was able to increase my level when things became tough, like I did before," Nadal said. "That's something I missed a lot."
In total, Nadal dropped serve 13 times this...