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Rafael Nadal
© mars06 for VB
Many members of the Vamos Brigade attended the tournament in Monte Carlo. mars06MadAliceCudlip  and  JLB shared their experiences, photos and videos with us.

Apr 14 - Monte Carlo Rolex Masters, Monte Carlo, Monaco

Apr 21 - Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell

Rafael Nadal
Screencap by elise

Rafa's last tournament was the Sony Open Tennis, Miami.
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19th April

Monte Carlo Rolex Masters
Rafa notched his 300th win on clay by defeating Andreas Seppi6-1, 6-3, in the third round, and reached the quarter finals, where he lost to David Ferrer6-7(1), 4-6.

Info  Pics  AV  TV & Live-streaming info  Official Site   Draw

Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell
The draw for Barcelona is out. Rafa is the top seed and gets a bye in the first round. He'll play either Albert Ramos or Nikolay Davydenko in the second.

The other seeded players in Rafa's quarter are Feliciano LopezFernando Verdasco and Nicolas Almagro

Info  Pics  AV  TV & Live-streaming info  Official Site   Draw

Anticipation: The European Clay Season
by elise

Rafa Nadal

We view Monte Carlo as the beginning of the European clay court season. It is the first of the three Masters tournaments leading up to Roland Garros. In addition to Monte Carlo, Madrid and Rome, Rafa usually plays the ATP 500 tournament in Barcelona. Since his break-out year, 2005, Rafa has won 34 clay tournaments in Europe. Numerous articles have appeared recently reviewing his dominance on clay in general. (A couple can be found in our Miscellaneous Articles thread.)

Rafa Nadal
© MAC for VB

Monte Carlo is also one of the most popular tournaments for Vamos Brigade members to attend.  The tournament has barely started and we already have two VBers who have opened blogs and uploaded photos and videos.

mars06 arrived early and has had a number of close encounters with Rafa. She has been lucky enough to run into him at a restaurant and casino before the crowds arrived. And she has watched him practice a couple of times.

Rafa Nadal
© mars06 for VB

MAC's initial experiences have been different - and a bit more "challenging." But they haven't stopped her from blogging or taking some of her usual fabulous photos, and sharing a video or two with us.

Rafa Nadal
© MAC for VB

We're all looking forward to seeing Rafa play on "his" surface. The signs augur well for a good tournament: Rafa seems healthy, he (for once) has a decent draw, and a throng of VBers will be there to cheer him on.

Rafa Nadal
© MAC for VB

Now for four quick trivia questions (just because I can Rafa Nadal):

1.   Of Rafa’s eight singles titles at Monte Carlo, how many did he win without dropping a set? (Keep in mind that until 2007, the finals in Masters tournaments were best of five sets.)
      a.  Six
      b.  Two
      c.   Four
      d.  Eight

The correct answer can be found in the Singles results by tournament section.

Rafa Nadal
© mars06 for VB

2.   Rafa’s played ten times in Monte Carlo’s main draw and has won it a record-setting eight times. We know that he lost in the final last year to Novak Djokovic. To whom was Rafa’s only other loss in Monte Carlo?
      a.   Guillermo Coria
      b.   Roger Federer
      c.   Alex Corretja
      d.   Gaston Gaudio

The correct answer can be found in the Results section.

Rafa Nadal
© MAC for VB

3.   In the ten years that Rafa has played in the singles main draw at Monte Carlo, how many times has he also played doubles?
      a. Two  
      b. Five  
      c. One  
      d. Four  

Rafa Nadal
Vittorio for VB

The correct answer can be found in the Results section.

4.   Which of the following players have not won a set from Rafa in the singles main draw at Monte Carlo?
      a.   Roger Federer
      b.   David Ferrer
      c.   Gaston Gaudio
      d.   Richard Gasquet

You can find the correct answer in the Singles results by tournament section.

Rafa Nadal
© elise for VB

Best of luck in Monte Carlo, Rafa!

Answers: 1.c; 2.a; 3.a; 4.b.