Rafael Nadal ran down Grigor Dimitrov 6-1, 6-1 as Spain’s unstoppable king of clay took aim at his 12th career title at the Monte Carlo Masters on Thursday.
The total obliteration took just 57 minutes, with Nadal breaking five times while never facing a break point against his own serve against an opponent who has been suffering with a health worry.
“I’ve been struggling with a massive tooth problem for the past four or five days, a big infection on my tooth,” Dimitrov said.
“I haven’t been able to, like, sleep well or eat well or anything like that. I mean, it’s time to put an end to it.”
Before knowing all the facts, Nadal said: “I’m sorry for him. He played a bad match. That is the truth..
“He made a lot of mistakes. I was there. I was doing the right thing, but it is true that today was more his fault than my good tennis.”
Nadal has developed the winning habit against his frequent Bulgarian rival, whom he has defeated 14 times out of 15 meetings – including four times here.
The series began at 2009 Rotterdam, when Nadal stood ATP No. 1 and Dimitrov ranked 478.
“He is who he is on the clay. If you don’t do the necessary things against him, then obviously you don’t stand a chance,” Dimitrov said..
“Overall I don’t want to be too negative for this week. I went through a good week of practice.
“I’m not even thinking of this match at the moment. I think I’m going to probably take some time off now.
“Hopefully it all goes smooth and I can come back as soon as possible to a competitive mode again.”
Main photo:- Rafa Nadal makes quick work of toothache victim Grigor Dimitrov – ATPTour.com/Corinne Dubreuil