It’s been a long wait but Rafael Nadal finally landed his first European clay court title of the season and extended an 11-year record as he won the ATP World Tour 500 tournament in Hamburg Sunday.
The top seed beat Italy’s Fabio Fognini 7-5 7-5 in a hard-fought final lasting over two and a half hours.
- Nadal Beats Fognini For Hamburg Crown (via ATP World Tour)
“I lost the last two times against him, so I knew it was going to be a tough one,” said Nadal. “I think I had a great attitude the whole match, very positive, fighting for every ball. I had some tough moments on court, lost opportunities, but every time I came back and I kept fighting with the right mentality. I’m very happy for the victory. It is an important victory for me.”
“Now the hard-court season is starting, it’s a different story,” said Nadal. “But at the same time, I’ll keep going with the same mentality and this title helps to be a little bit more calm and add some points to my [Emirates ATP] Ranking to try to finish the year in the Top 8 again.”
- Nadal exacts Fognini revenge in Hamburg final (via AFP/Yahoo Sports)
Nadal has now won the Hamburg title twice after a previous success in 2008 — his last appearance — and has 47 claycourt titles.
“I had some cramps which wasn’t very pleasant,” said 29-year-old Nadal.
- Nadal recupera la gloria (via El Pais)
Resulta que en el momento de los discursos, Nadal se tiró la mano a la pierna derecha. “Vais a tener que traer una camilla para que pueda salir de aquí, estoy acalambrado”, dijo entre sonrisas.
Nadal entendió que debía madurar el partido, que no se acabaría por la vía rápida. La paciencia y la mentalidad ganadora habían regresado.
- Rafael Nadal claims 67th career title in Hamburg, but is he good enough to challenge for US Open? (via Eurosport)
Any title success has to be welcomed, and this should restore confidence to Nadal’s game that seemed to dissipate during Wimbledon. He will go to Flushing Meadows under the radar as fifth favourite for the US Open behind Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka. He is perhaps fifth of a ‘big five’ but at 12-1 must be worth a flutter for what he can be on top form. This is a man who has won the US Open in 2010 and 2013. Write him off at your peril.
- Rafael Nadal v Fabio Fognini: Hamburg Open final 2015 – as it happened (via The Guardian)
Fabio to Rafa: “What do you want? Don’t break my balls! It’s always the same thing.”
“¿Qué quieres? ¡No me rompas los huevos!”. Fognini a Nadal. pic.twitter.com/6xg6yQrmRP
— Nacho Mühlenberg (@NachoMuhlenberg) August 2, 2015
- Fognini Barks at Nadal During Hamburg Changeover (via Tennis Now)
- Rafael Nadal cramps up during victory speech, laughs through it anyway (via SB Nation)
- Rafa Nadal and Fabio Fognini play fantastic rally in Hamburg final (via Sky Sports)
- Rafa Nadal serves with a big bee on his back (via Sky Sports)
- Nadal Discusses 2015 Hamburg Final Win Over Fognini