Top seed Rafael Nadal extended his record number of Barcelona titles to 12 as he brushed off a slow start and shaky finish of the second set to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-7 on Sunday. It was Rafa’s second victory against Tsitsipas in the Barcelona Open final.
Our champ now has 87 titles overall while his career clay-court match record stands at 448 wins against just 41 defeats.
The victory, which took three hours 38 minutes, gave Rafa his 61st clay-court title and came against an in-form opponent who had won his maiden Masters crown in Monte Carlo last week.
“Winning the trophy here means a lot,” said Rafa who had only lost one set in 11 previous finals in the Spanish city.
“I have been increasing my level and this was an important victory for me.”
Four years ago, the centre court was renamed in the Spaniard’s honour as ‘Pista Rafa Nadal. No player has won an ATP 500-level tournament on more occasions.