On Sunday, world number one Rafael Nadal defeated Stephanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-1 to win the 11th time and write his name on the Barcelona Open title. With this victory, the Spaniard, 31, also cemented his legendary winning streak of 46 straight sets on the soil. Nadal is the only male tennis player in the Open Era who has done this in his career twice.
Nadal, who had won his 11th Monte Carlo Masters title last week, was never seriously challenged on the way to winning 19th straight on the soil. Since facing Dominic Thiem in Rome last year, he has not lost on the soil.
Nadal said, “It is very difficult to describe winning 11 titles in a tournament.” “There is something to win 11 Monte Carlos and 11 Barcelona, which I could not imagine. I’m just enjoying every week, and the fact is that I’m playing in a tournament whose enjoyment is very important to me.”
This was the 77th title for Nadal, which has now tied his score with John McEnroe for the fourth best in the Open era. Only Jimmy Connor, Roger Federer, and Ivan Lendl are ahead of them, and with this kind of performance, the player could leave at least two more of them behind.
Nadal, who won his 400th match on mud in the semi-finals on Saturday, needed to win his number 1 ranking in Barcelona.
Nadal said, “When I play here I find it hard to imagine all the emotions and emotions.”
“Hopefully I can come back for years to come,” he added.
After the victory, Nadal went on to the pool with boys and ball girls as well as at the venue.
Due to constant hip injury in the Australian Open quarter-finals, Nadal was out of action at the beginning of this year. He returned to help Spain defeat Germany in the Davis Cup quarter-finals and then conquered Monte Carlo.
Nadal said, “I have two fantastic weeks, but we were coming out of difficult months due to injuries.”
At 63rd, Tsitsipas was trying to become the first Greek to win the ATP Tour title. Since Nicholas Kalegopololos in 1973, he was the first Greek to reach the ATP final.
Tsitsipas said, “I knew that the chances of winning were low, but my confidence was increasing in every match, and when I was expecting a bit better today, I congratulate Rafa.”
He added, “I thought that this was a first experience and harder. I have seen it on TV several times, but in reality, it is difficult to face it.”
Tsitsipas was the youngest finalist in Barcelona since 2005. After Gaston Gaudio in 2002, he was thinking of becoming the first unseeded champion in the tournament, which could have been possible if Nadal wasn’t on the court.
In the Rafa Nadal court near Tsitsipas, there were 23 unsafe errors in 77 minutes long ordeal, which was briefly interrupted by rain.
After his good performance against the number 1 player, the Greek is expected to reach the 44th ranking and make one of the biggest leaps in his career.