World No 1 Novak Djokovic is all that stands between Spain's Rafael Nadal and a historic ninth championship win at the Monte-Carlo Masters. The Serbian has battled an ankle injury to register his place in the tournament's final and is optimistic of beating Nadal [3] despite the overwhelming weight of history behind the World No 5.

Rafael Nadal

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Coverage starts at 1pm BST and is available on Sky Sports 2. Real-time text updates are available on the tournament's official website. Highlights are at 8.30pm BST on Sky Sports 4.


Djokovic entered the tournament carrying an injury from Davis Cup duty the previous week. The Serbian left it as late as possible to confirm his participation at Monte-Carlo but once he was on the court, the World No 1 has been unstoppable.

It hasn't been smooth sailing though. He received a bye in his first round but was forced to three sets in both the second and third rounds, against unseeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny and Argentina's Juan Monaco [14]. In both cases, Djokovic dropped the first set but came back strongly in the final two, dropping a total of only five and four games (in those sets alone) respectively.

The next two rounds were much easier rides though, with Finland's Jarrko Nieminen and Italy's Fabio Fognini falling in straight sets. A pumped-up Djokovic later declared: "I'm not going out there to play my best; I'm going out there to win. That's how I'm going to feel tomorrow."

It won't be easy though, as the Serbian admitted. Nadal is utterly dominant on the slow red clay of Monte-Carlo. The Spaniard has not been beaten here since 2003, when Argentine Guillermo Coria (now retired) beat him 7-6(3), 6-2.

The 26-year-old Mallorca-born left-hander has dropped only one set en route to the final - against Bulgarian Gregor Dimitrov in the quarter final. Aside from that match, he blitzed his way past France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga [6] in the semi final to extend his winning streak here to 46 matches.

It is worth pointing out that Nadal avoided a meeting with World No 2 (he will slip back to No 3 in the next round of rankings) Andy Murray, after the Brit slumped to a 1-6, 2-6 defeat to Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka [13] in the third round.

Would Murray have been able to derail Nadal had the two meet? It is unlikely, given the form Nadal enjoys at Monte-Carlo. And the same could be said of Djokovic in this match.

Prediction: Rafael Nadal to win in three sets.