Nadal beats teenager Tsitsipas to win 11th Barcelona title

Published by Tennismash

Rafael Nadal collects the Barcelona Open trophy for the 11th time; Getty Images
Rafael Nadal wins an 11th Barcelona title and secures his place at the top of the rankings with victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas.

World No.1 Rafael Nadal completed another remarkable week with a 6-2 6-1 victory over  19-year-old Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas to claim his 11th Barcelona Open title.

Seven days after winning for the 11th time in Monte Carlo, Nadal repeated the feat in Barcelona and extended his winning run on clay to 19 matches and 46 sets.

The 31-year-old has now won 77 Tour-level titles, drawing him level with John McEnroe in fourth place on the all-time list.

“It’s very difficult to describe how to win 11 titles at one tournament,” said Nadal.

“To win 11 Monte Carlos and 11 Barcelonas is something I couldn’t imagine doing. 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.”

Tsitsipas, the world No.63, had enjoyed a breakthrough week, beating Diego Schwartzman, Dominic Thiem and Pablo Carreno Busta on his way to the final.

He found Nadal an altogether different level of challenge, however.

“It was a first experience and tougher than I thought. I’ve watched him millions of times on TV, but it’s tougher to face him in reality,” said the teenager.

Woodbridge: ‘Can anyone stop Nadal on clay?’

“You need to be patient and do everything right, but I was in a rush and had a mess in my head. I was trying to go for the lines, which was the wrong thing. I had no options.

“He didn’t give me any air to breathe out there.”

Both men had to cope with several rain interruptions and the heavy conditions favoured Nadal, whose weight of shot proved too much for Tsitsipas.

Early breaks in both sets ensured Nadal was quickly in charge and he powered through to win in 77 minutes.

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