Ram­pant Nadal cruises to 11th Barcelona ti­tle

The Gulf Today - Panorama - - Sport -

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.

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