Rampant Nadal cruises to 11th Barcelona title
Rafael Nadal won his 11th Barcelona title this week when he breezed past Greek teenager Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-1 in the final. It was world No 1 Nadal’s 55th career clay-court title while he also extended his winning streak on the surface to 46 consecutive sets. The 31-year-old Spaniard won his 11th Monte Carlo Masters last weekend also without dropping a set. His victory reinforced his status as the overwhelming favourite to lift the French Open for an 11th time in June. Nadal now has 77 titles overall while his career clay-court match record stands at 401 wins against just 35 defeats. His win was greeted by ticker-tape and a video review of all his titles on the centre court in Barcelona which now bears his name.
“It’s really emotional to see that video. I never dreamed of having a career like this,” said the 16-time Grand
Slam title winner. “Thanks to everyone for making the tournament so special and thanks to my family who have been with me even when things have not been so smooth.” Tsitsipas, 19 years old and ranked 63, was the first Greek man to make an ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) final since Nicholas Kalogeropoulos in
Des Moines back in 1973. He was also the youngest Barcelona finalist since Nadal in 2005.