Rafael Nadal already has featured three ATP finals this season, including one at a Grand Slam, but he is still yet to put his name on a trophy in 2017. This might change no later than tomorrow as The Spaniard booked himself a spot in the final of Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, the first significant stop of the season on the European red dirt. Although unexpected, Nadal's opposition is a fellow countryman Albert Ramos-Vinolas, a player ranked inside the top 30 who produced major damage on his way to his first Masters 1000 final. Andy Murray and Marin Cilic were the high-calibre names the 15th seed Ramos-Vinolas stunned as well as the young French star Lucas Pouille.

Nadal ousted David Goffin and will fight for the 10th title in Monte-Carlo

The encounter having Nadal and the no. 1 of Belgium on opposite sides was marked by a strange decision from the chair umpire who went on overruling a call from the line judge in a critical moment of the first set. At that point, Goffin had a break ahead and a 3-2 lead and it was on the verge of consolidating his position. The point was replayed and despite struggling to get his mindset back in place, Goffin collapsed. From that point on, Nadal put his both feet deep into the court leaving nothing for his opponent. In the end, it was 6-3 6-1 for the Spaniard who is now one match away from winning his 10th title at Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.

There was also a sense of fatigue and lack of focus in Goffin's game, but his yesterday's performance against Novak Djokovic must have taken its toll.

Nadal always takes the most out of the clay court events

For about two months, the main action of the ATP professional tour is set to take place all around Europe with big tournaments waiting for their heroes to emerge.

For more than a decade, for Rafael Nadal, this particular time-lapse has been that moment of the season when he steps up to the occasion. Back in 2016, a poor start suddenly went on an upward spiral having the Spaniard in a winning position. First, he went on winning in Monte-Carlo and then in Barcelona. Now, the Monte-Carlo riddle is almost solved with one obstacle left in his way.

If he will compete next week in Barcelona, the odds are in his favour as Kei Nishikori, last year's runner-up withdrew due to an injury on his right arm wrist. Barcelona also is the place where Nadal and his tomorrow assailant had their common history consumed. There were two meetings both won by Nadal back in 2013 and 2014.