5 players who have completed the Monte-Carlo and Barcelona Double ft Bjorn Borg and Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal has won the Monte-Carlo Masters and Barcelona Open 11 and 12 times in history, the most by any player. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that the Spaniard has triumphed in both events back-to-back on at least a few occasions.
But the Monte-Carlo and Barcelona double is generally considered to be one of the most draining tournaments on the trot. For starters, both events attract some of the biggest names in the sport because of the prestige and history associated with the tournament. To add to that, a player would have to win anywhere from 10 to 12 matches in a two-week span to complete the feat, which is asking a lot of even the most elite players.
In the Open Era, only five players have successfully completed the accomplishment, and only one, the aforementioned Nadal, is still active to this day. Without further ado, here’s a look at them:
#1 Ilie Nastase
Ilie Nastase was the first player in the Open Era to complete the Monte-Carlo and Barcelona Double
Ilie Nastase completed the achievement in 1973, defeating Bjorn Borg in straight sets in the final of the Monte-Carlo Masters to notch up his third title on the trot at the tournament. The former World No. 1 also won the doubles title that year, partnering up with Spain’s Juan Gisbert.
At the Barcelona Open, the Romanian defeated Manuel Orantes in straight sets for the second final in a row to bring up his second consecutive title in Spain. Remarkably, Nastase won the doubles title at Barcelona too, partnering up with Netherlands’ Tom Okker this time around.
#2 Bjorn Borg
Bjorn Borg’s first of three titles at Monte-Carlo came in 1977, defeating Italy’s Corrado Barazzutti in straight sets in the final. The Swede went on to win the tournament again in 1979 and 1980.
At the Barcelona Open, the 11-time Grand Slam champion won his second title the following week, besting Manuel Orantes in the final in straight sets. The former World No. 1’s first title came two years ago in 1975.
#3 Mats Wilander
Mats Wilander won the Monte-Carlo Masters and Barcelona Open back-to-back in 1983
Mats Wilander’s first Monte-Carlo title came in 1983, when he defeated Mel Purcell in straight sets in the final to notch up his first championship of the year. The Swede went on to win again in 1987, defeating Jimmy Arias.
The seven-time Grand Slam champion triumphed at the Barcelona Open the following week, besting Guillermo in the final. The former World No. 1 went on to win the next two years as well, beating Vilas again and compatriot Joakim Nystrom respectively.
Interestingly, Wilander could have completed the Monte-Carlo and Barcelona Double in 1982 as well, but fell one match short of the former and fell to compatriot Henrik Sundstrom in the final.
#4 Thomas Muster
Thomas Muster completed the Double twice, in 1995 and 1996. The Austrian won the Monte-Carlo Masters for the second time in 1995, defeating Boris Becker in a hard-fought five-setter in the final. At the Barcelona Open the following week, he won his second title at the event, dwarfing Magnus Larsson in straight sets.
In 1996, the former World No. 1 defended his titles at both tournaments, vanquishing Albert Costa first in a five-setter at Monte-Carlo and prevailing over Marcelo Rios in four sets at Barcelona.
#5 Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal has completed the Monte-Carlo and Barcelona Double on 10 occasions till date
Rafael Nadal has completed the Monte-Carlo and Barcelona Double a whopping 10 times till date. Between 2005 and 2009, Nadal won both events five times in a row, defeating Roger Federer thrice, David Ferrer twice, and Novak Djokovic, Guillermo Coria, Guillermo Canas, Tommy Robredo and Juan Carlos Ferrero once each across 10 finals.
2011 and 2012 witnessed the Spaniard win his 7th and 8th titles in Monaco, besting Ferrer and Djokovic in their respective finals. At Barcelona, Nadal won his sixth and seventh titles, beating Ferrer in both finals.
Between 2016 and 2018, Nadal completed a hat-trick in both events. Gael Monfils, Albert Ramos Vinolas and Kei Nishikori fell in the finals in Monte-Carlo, while Nishikori, Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas made way for the 21-time Grand Slam champion to extend his record at each event.