Barcelona: Rafael Nadal won his 11th Barcelona title on Sunday 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 matches.
The 31-year-old Spaniard won his 11th Monte Carlo Masters last weekend also without dropping a set. Sunday’s 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.
Tsitsipas, 19 years old and ranked 63, was the first Greek man to make an ATP final since Nicholas Kalogeropoulos in Des Moines back in 1973.
He was also the youngest Barcelona finalist since Nadal in 2005. Nadal needed just 77 minutes to claim victory on Sunday. After racing through the opening set, he was quickly 3-0 up in the second before Tsitsipas carved out a degree of hope in the fourth game when he had two break points.
They were quickly saved by Nadal who then claimed the title on a third match point in the seventh game when the teenager dumped a one-handed backhand into the net.