Rafael Nadal is the first man to win Monte Carlo five years in a row. Some saw his falling to the terre battue in joy as an excessive celebration. Others saw it for what it was - celebrating the red dirt that he's once again taken the measure of. Congratulations to Rafael and his team.
There were American men in Monte Carlo. Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan made the finals of the doubles competition losing to the team of Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic. Congratulations to Nenad and Daniel.
Meanwhile in Barcelona defending champion Maria Kirilenko went down to defeat at the hands of journeywoman Roberta Vinci. Roberta has been playing very well of late. Congratulations to her.
German teenager Sabine Lisicki made some noise on the tour last year but her play was inconsistent and she was looked at as a work in progress by many tennisheads. Long time fans of Venus Williams looked askance at their favorite having to face Lisicki, the type of opponent that has given Venus problems in the past. After Sabine beat Venus some thought she would, like others, promptly lose her next match. Sabine had other plans though and beat Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets. And trust me she beat her. It wouldn't have mattered if Caroline had had sufficient rest. Sabine came to take names and she did.
The competition moves to the red clay of Europe now. Let's see if Sabine delivers on the promise she showed today.
Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Nadia Petrova won the Doubles Championship at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston.