In 2014 Stan Wawrinka followed up his maiden Grand Slam title in Melbourne with his first Masters title. In the first all-Swiss final for 14 years on the ATP World Tour, he beat Roger Federer 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2.
Having reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open this year, the Swiss No. 2 will bid to defend his Masters title against world No. 1 and 2013 champion Novak Djokovic, who has started this year with intent. Rafael Nadal came back to the tour at the end of the Latin American "Golden" clay-court swing, and will be looking for his ninth title, while Wawrinka's compatriot and World No. 2 Federer still looks for his elusive first title in the Principality.
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The Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2006, is the first of three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments played on clay at the Monte-Carlo Country Club. The tournament is a player and fan favourite due to its magnificent location and long tradition of champions. Spain's Rafael Nadal won an Open Era record eight successive title there between 2005-2012 and has a staggering 50-3 event record.
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Nadal's dominance since 2005 stands as a testament to all the currently active players. Old favourites Ilie Nastase (1971-1973), Bjorn Borg (1977, 1979-1980) and Guillermo Vilas (1976, 1981-1982) each held three titles,as did Thomas Muster in the '90s (1992, 1995-1996). But no-one had such a stranglehold on the surface and it remains to be seen if Nadal can regain his dominance once more.