Sports

Nadal dominates Barcelona field with dazzling hot shots

Nadal dominates Barcelona field with dazzling hot shots

Days after downing Kei Nishikori in the final of the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Monte Carlo, the 31-year-old reigned supreme on the clay courts of Barcelona to achieve an "undecima".

The teenager did manage to avoid a bagel by winning the next game, but he only delayed the inevitable, as Nadal broke yet again to clinch the title.

Nadal was always in control of the clash as he cruised to victory while also extending his Open Era record of consecutive sets won on clay to 46.

He had said that playing Nadal would be like "receiving a free tennis lesson" and although he held in the opening game, the gulf in class between the two players quickly shone through.

It was another imperious performance from Nadal on clay, and he looks nearly unbeatable on his favourite surface. Besides Nadal, Kei Nishikori won back to back titles at the event previously.

Nadal is now level with John McEnroe on 77 career titles with only Jimmy Connors (109), Roger Federer (97) and Ivan Lendl (94) ahead of him. Despite struggling with lingering injury issues earlier in the year, Nadal can not be stopped.

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Be it a win or lose on Sunday, when the latest men's rankings are released on Monday, Tsitsipas will become the first ever Greek player to make it into the table of world's top 50 players.

After the win, Nadal dived into a pool at the venue along with some of the tournament's ball boys and ball girls. "I never dreamed of having a career like this", said the 16-time Grand Slam title victor.

"I'm going to go out there, enjoy it and play my best".

Speaking after his win yesterday, Nadal said: "I'm very happy for the victory against a very hard opponent". He was also the youngest Barcelona finalist since Nadal in 2005. It was a great final for me and the 11th title here means a lot.

A Greek hadn't made it to a final since Nicholas Kalogeropoulos in 1973.

"I have watched millions of his matches on clay", Tsitsipas said.


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