Domineering Nadal eases to 11th Barcelona title

Another title in Barcelona brought Rafael Nadal about 500 thousand euros in prize money and 500 ranking points.

After winning his 11 Monte Carlo title last weekend this was his 55th title on clay - and the 77th overall in his illustrious career.

"I've had two fantastic weeks but we were coming off hard months because of the injuries", Nadal said.

Nadal said he will not under-estimate Tsitsipas in final."Stefanos is a great player".

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 Spaniard has now won 19 straight matches on clay (for a whopping 46 set streak).

"I never dreamed of having a career like this".

It is his 77th title, pulling him level with John McEnroe in fourth place on the professional era title list and he now only trails Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer and Ivan Lendl.

Nadal was out of action earlier this year due to a lingering right hip injury sustained in the Australian Open quarterfinals, but his latest win will allay fears about his fitness.

With his major opponents vacationing, sidelined by injury or coming back from injury, Rafael Nadal is making the claycourt season his stage and his alone. "I'm just enjoying every week and the fact I'm playing in a tournament that I enjoy so much means a lot to me", Nadal said, as quoted by ATP's official website.

On current form, Nadal is the undoubted favourite for the title in Paris, and it would come as no suprise if his name is once again engraved on the trophy come June 10.

Light drizzle interrupted the match in the first and second games and Tsitsipas, who will become the first Greek player to break into the world top 50, held to love in his opening service game. "But we really do need one or two guys, whether it's Del Potro or Thiem or somebody to step up and say "I can do this, I'm ready to compete with him" and raise their game, because the game needs it".

  • Steve Townsend