In brief: Nadal claims 7th Monte Carlo title
RAFAEL Nadal continued his unbeaten run on clay that stretches back since 2009 with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over David Ferrer to claim his seventh Monte Carlo Masters.
Nadal also extended his winning run in the tournament to 37 matches despite an error-strewn performance yesterday.
Nadal saved five out of six break points and broke Ferrer twice on his way to taking the first set.
After sharing breaks in the second set, Nadal broke in the 11th game and then served out for the match.
For the second race in succession, Peter Dempsey from Ashbourne amazed the American Indycar racing establishment by taking third place in the Firestone Indy Lights race at Birmingham, Alabama, yesterday.
The Irishman, twice the Young Driver of the Year, finished close behind winner Victor Garcia and Stefan Wilson.
Earlier, Dubliner Patrick McKenna had problems on his way to 13th place in the US Star Mazda Championship race.
Wicklow driver Lee Newsome starred at the opening Mondello Park race meeting of the new season, withstanding enormous pressure all the way to win the Formula Vee race.
Meanwhile, Ballyclare native Jonathan Rea won the first race at the Superbike race at Assen, before Eugene Laverty finished sixth in the second behind Carlos Checa, the championship leader.
Belgium's Philippe Gilbert defended his Amstel Gold Race title with an explosive final sprint to underline his status as a talented all-round racer yesterday.
Gilbert claimed victory in just over six and a half hours from Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez with Australia's Simon Gerrans third.
At home, Sean Lacey came up trumps in the Tommy Sheehan Memorial race in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary yesterday.
In the Stamullen Grand Prix, Conor Murphy of the Eurocykes team won his fourth race of the season with team-mate Adam Armstrong in second place.
Mark Kenneally came away with a highly commendable debut performance of 2.17.22 in the Vienna City Marathon yesterday.
It was the fastest time by an Irishman for three years and beat Sean Connolly's debut marathon time in Rotterdam two weeks ago by one second.