World No. 1 Rafael Nadal continued his dominance on clay, capturing his 11th Monte Carlo Masters on Sunday with a convincing win over No. 36 Kei Nishikori, 6-3 6-2.

By winning a record 31st Masters title, Nadal moved ahead of Novak Djokovic. The win also ensured Nadal would keep his top ranking ahead of No. 2 Roger Federer.

Nadal needed just 93 minutes to hold off Nishikori and extended his consecutive set streak on clay to 36. 

Nadal, 31, has battled back from a leg injury he suffered in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. The Monte Carlo Masters is considered a key tune-up ahead of next month's French Open, where Nadal will be seeking his 11th title.

"It's not easy to describe when you are coming back from injury and you start the clay-court season in this way,'' Nadal said.

Nadal showed little sign of struggle against Nishikori, as the Spaniard effectively used his groundstrokes to move Nishikori around the court. On match point, Nadal slapped a backhand winner. 

“I want to thank all my team and my family. We had some tough moments during the last five months after a couple of injuries in a row. It’s great to have a group of great people behind me. I can say thank you very much always for being there and supporting me when I really need it.

“It’s always special for me to be back here, having this trophy. It’s one of the most important events of the year for me.”

Nadal finished with 20 winners and a 74 percent winning percentage on first serves. Nishikori finished with 12 winners.

The Japanese star struggled with his serve, putting just 52 percent of his serves in play. Nishikori had 19 unforced errors, compared to 21 by Nadal.

Nadal has a 10-2 record in head-to-head matches against Nishikori.

GettyImages-949962278 Nadal won his 11th Monte Carlo Masters. Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images