The final of the men's singles event at the Monte Carlo Open will be between Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych. Both finalists had commanding semi-final victories over their opponents in straight sets at the Masters' series tournament, with Rafael Nadal and Gael Monfils seeing their own title ambitions thwarted as a result. Djokovic will be the odds-on favourite in the final as ever, as he seeks to continue his impressive run of form this year. Berdych will need to block out the memory of their last five matches, all of which have ended in defeat to the efficient Serb, although he did win their last tussle on clay back in 2013.

Djokovic's semi-final match with the once all-conquering clay court specialist Nadal was intriguingly anticipated. Much has been made of the world number one's ambition to take the French Open title this year, the only Grand Slam event he has yet to win in an otherwise brilliant career. That dream looks to be well on course to be satisfied later this year after his 6-3 6-3 success over the powerful Spaniard. Nadal started the better of the two Tennis 'heavyweights', breaking early in the first set to establish a 2-0 lead on his favourite surface. Djokovic hardly ever seems to become over-concerned in such situations these days, though and the seemingly unflappable Serb battled back to take the set.

The second set was locked at 3-3 when an eleven-minute seventh game finally swung Djokovic's way to hand him the break he needed to close the match out. It was never a runaway victory, but Nadal could not quite find the ultra-consistency required to overcome a man who is in such a purple patch of form at the present.

Many observers are wondering if Nadal has lost the edge that once made him an irresistible force on the tour.

There have been weaknesses observed in his recent matches, but the expectation was that once he was back on clay all may well click back into gear. He had persevered during his epic quarter-final tussle with David Ferrer, outlasting his compatriot in three sets. To do the same against Djokovic on clay proved too tall an order even for him, a nine-time champion at the French Open.

Defeat to Djokovic, while not terminal to his French hopes this year, must surely rubber stamp the Serb as the man to beat there in the summer. Nadal's world ranking is also beginning to slip as he now sits at number five.

Djokovic's opponent in the final will be the Czech player Berdych, after his confident disposal of Roger Federer's conqueror, Monfils 6-1 6-4. The first set was quickly in the bag for the number six seed in just 23 minutes and after breaking the Frenchman again early in the second, he was never to relinquish his grip on the match.