Rafael Nadal received the Barcelona Open for the twelfth time after saving a championship level in a to finish Stefanos Tsitsipas’ excellent document on clay this 12 months in an exhilarating last.
World quantity three Nadal, taking part in simply his third match of the 12 months, is gearing up for a tilt at a record-extending 14th French Open title.
By defeating the person who landed the Monte Carlo Masters title final week, Nadal confirmed he’s transferring by the gears on his favorite floor earlier than heading to Paris.
He received 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 7-5 to keep up his 100 per cent document in finals at this match on dwelling soil, however Tsitsipas was left to mirror on a missed alternative after the 20-time grand slam champion fended off a championship level at 5-4 within the last set.
The King of Barcelona retains his throne
— ATP Tour (@atptour) April 25, 2021
Nadal trailed 4-2 within the opening set as Tsitsipas signalled he was up for the problem and brimming with confidence, however again got here the 34-year-old to brush up the subsequent 4 video games.
Tsitsipas broke first within the second set too, inching 2-1 in entrance, and the Greek appeared each bit a warrior able to residing with the very best for a lot of the competition.
It was a rout when these two met within the Barcelona last three years in the past, Nadal dropping solely three video games, however right here he wanted to work far tougher, in what was the 69th clay-court last of his stellar profession.
Tsitsipas beat Nadal from two units down within the Australian Open quarter-finals in February, so dropping the opener right here was not trigger for panic, however nor was gaining the early break within the second any motive to be assured he could be taking the match to a decider.
Nadal duly broke again however then let two championship factors slip by within the tenth sport, with Tsitsipas serving. A smash adopted by an outstanding drop volley from Tsitsipas meant the match remained alive.
Tsitsipas couldn’t convert 0-40 on Nadal’s serve within the subsequent sport, however he received an exhilarating tie-break to take the competition all the way in which.
There was not a solitary break level within the decider till Tsitsipas was a degree away from claiming the title within the tenth sport, however the King of Clay dug in to carry.
He rubbed salt within the wounds by securing the elusive break within the subsequent sport and dropped to the clay in delight after serving it out, ending a pulsating showdown that was lastly settled in three hours and 38 minutes.