Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 4/22/12
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If the match itself was anticlimactic, the achievement was not. By defeating Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-1, Rafael Nadal won the Rolex Monte Carlo Open for the eighth straight year while also breaking the stranglehold the Serb had enjoyed against him, winning the last seven finals they had played. "First of all you need luck," Nadal said afterward. True. You also need to be an extraordinary athlete and an amazing competitor. This is one of the nine ATP Masters Series 1000 tournaments, a level just below the Grand Slams. Winning it once is an achievement but this run of success at any event is unprecedented in the Open era. Ilie Nastase, who was here this week, won three straight titles between 1971-73 but otherwise one needs to go way back in the history books, to the very beginning of this tournament which was dominated for its first 10 years by British brothers Reg and Lawrie Doherty, who kept it in the family between 1897 and 1906. But this modern age requires a completely different ...
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