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Can Nadal maintain his domination of the Monte Carlo tennis tournament?

It's the playground of princes, and, for the last 7 years, Rafael Nadal has enjoyed a regal control in the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters tennis tournament. With the next tournament beginning on April 14 2012, will the Spanish master be in shape to make it an 8th consecutive title?

The Monte Carlo Rolex Masters (www.monte-carlorolexmasters.com) is a week-long, best of 3 sets men's tennis tournament that has been established for more than a century. Although it is not a tournament with mandatory ATP attendance, most of the world's top players are only too happy to turn out in Monte Carlo in the balmy Mediterranean spring.

Coming in mid-April it is regarded as a useful preparation for the French Open in May, and an indicator of which players are hitting form. Although the answer for the last 7 years has been the same: Rafael Nadal.

Nadal won his first Monte Carlo title in 2005, and has won 6 more since, setting a record for the most consecutive tournament wins in the open era. The last player to win in Monte Carlo before Nadal established his supremacy was the Argentinian Guillermo Coria who has now retired.

Nadal certainly seems to thrive on the clay courts, and will be the hot favourite to lift the trophy, fitness permitting. 2012 will be an intriguing year for the Spanish player. For several years it has been assumed that once Roger Federer's form began to wane, Nadal would be the dominant force in men's tennis.

Instead he has seen the world number one position claimed by Novak Djokovic, with Andy Murray also challenging his supremacy. Tennis fans will be wondering if Nadal can find his best form and re-establish his status at the top of the rankings.

Online ticket sales for the 2012 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters tennis tournament begin on Monday October 17. Those who bought tickets for the 2011 tournament will be able to use their priority access passcodes from October 3.

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