Rafael Nadal has won the Barcelona Open,defeating Kei Nishikori 6-3, 7-5 in an enthralling final and claimed his 49th clay court title, equaling Guillermo Villas record.
The former world number one and current world number five who won the Monte Carlo Masters last week, has now won his opening 10 matches of the European clay-court season.In an entertaining clash of the two top-seeded players, Nadal proved more decisive under pressure, saving seven of eight break chances in the first set while converting the two chances he got.The Spaniard then bettered second-seeded Nishikori through several superb rallies in a back-and-forth second set to win key points and claim his 69th career title in his 101st final.
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He said after the game “I’m very happy because besides this being one of the most important tournaments that I have won, this is another week that I am playing very well,’ Nadal said. ‘These have been two fantastic weeks, weeks I have been striving for for a long time.’I was playing against the No. 6 player in the world, and if you don’t play at your best you aren’t going to win,’ the fifth-ranked Nadal said.”This is truly special, I don’t know if it is repeatable,’ Nadal said about his records. ‘If I have done it, it is possible, but it will be truly difficult. I have won titles nine times, and won so many titles on clay and in tough tournaments. I am very satisfied for Barcelona to join this group of nine”.”I think I served well which was very important,” said the world number five. “The fact I had a good percentage of first serves allowed me to play better.In the second set I let a lot of opportunities go, but I am very happy to have resisted mentally and happy to win”.
Rafael Nadal will be hoping he carries his impressive form to the French next month.