Nadal downs Monfils for Tokyo title

Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts after defeating Gael Monfils of France at the final match at the Japan...

Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts after defeating Gael Monfils of France at the final match at the Japan Open tennis championships in Tokyo October 10, 2010. (REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao)

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, Last Updated: 12:35 PM ET

TOKYO, Japan - Top-ranked Rafael Nadal overcame nine aces from fifth-seeded Gael Monfils to post a 6-1, 7-5 victory and win the title at the Japan Open.

Nadal, who had to save two match points and beat Viktor Troicki in the semifinals, picked up his 43rd career title and seventh this year. He's 7-1 all-time against the Frenchman Monfils, including two victories in 2010.

This was the Spaniard's eighth final of the year, having won seven of his last eight, including victories at the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. Nadal took home the $216,500 first-place prize. He's 43-12 all-time in singles finals.

"Every tournament is very important; it is nice to win another big title like this one," said Nadal. "I won a lot this year but I have to appreciate how difficult it is and how much hard work you have to do. I improved a lot my serve and it is a big thing on a surface as quick as here in Tokyo."

Monfils was looking for his first title of the year and third of his career. He's 2-9 all-time in championship matches.


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