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Barcelona, Bucharest Sunday Briefing

Nadal© AFP/Getty ImagesRafael Nadal is chasing a seventh title in Barcelona.

BARCELONA SUNDAY PREVIEW – NADAL EYES HISTORY, FERRER FIRST BARCELONA TITLE IN FOURTH FINAL
• Spain’s Top 2 players square off Sunday in the final of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, their fourth time meeting in the final of one of their home country’s leading tournaments on the ATP World Tour. This is the 10th all-Spanish final in Barcelona in the Open Era (since 1968), the sixth involving Nadal (fourth vs. Ferrer). This will also be the 10th straight year a Spaniard wins the Barcelona title (since ’03).

• Having just won his eighth Monte Carlo title in a row, World No. 2 Rafael Nadal has cruised through to the final here in Barcelona, losing just 16 games in four rounds, including wins over World No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic and former No. 7 Fernando Verdasco. He has won this tournament the last six times he has played it (did not play in 2010) and is now on a 33-match win streak here (he has also won the last 30 sets he has played here).

• With the eight Monte Carlo titles, Nadal is one of three players in the Open Era to have won any ATP World Tour event seven times (also Jimmy Connors in Birmingham, Alabama, Guillermo Vilas in Buenos Aires and Pete Sampras at Wimbledon).  Nadal could be the first player in the Open Era to win two ATP World Tour events seven times. The Mallorcan has a 20-match winning streak on clay since losing to Novak Djokovic in the Rome final last May. Nadal is playing in his 69th ATP World Tour level final (47-21 mark) and 38th on clay (33-4). The only players to defeat Nadal in a clay final are Novek Djokovic and Roger Federer (twice each).

• After cruising through the early rounds, World No. 6 David Ferrer has shown his fighting spirit in the last two rounds, saving three match points to defeat No. 7 seed Feliciano Lopez in the quarter-finals and then edging No. 11 seed Milos Raonic in two tie-breaks in the semi-finals. Ferrer has reached the final here three previous times, in 2008-09 and last year, but fell to Nadal each time.  Ferrer is going for his ATP World Tour season-high and personal-best fourth title of the year. He already won Auckland, Buenos Aires and Acapulco this year); he also won three titles in 2007.  Ferrer is playing in his 29th ATP World Tour final (14-14 mark) and 18th on clay (8-9). He is 1-11 lifetime in finals vs. Top 10 opponents.

• Nadal leads Ferrer 13-4 in their head-to-head series  but more relevantly Nadal is 4-0 against Ferrer in Barcelona and Nadal has won their last 10 clay court meetings (10-1 overall, losing their first). Nadal is also 10-0 lifetime vs. his countrymen in finals.

WHAT’S AT STAKE
Winner:  € 301,150 and 500 South African Airways ATP Ranking points
Runner-up: € 151,630 and 300 South African Airways ATP Ranking points

FINALS HISTORY
Nadal:  Appearing in his 69th ATP World Tour level final………..…….47-21 in finals (1-1 in ’12)  
           Appearing in his 38th clay court final…………………………….33-4 in finals (1-0 in ’12)
Ferrer:  Appearing in his 29th ATP World Tour final…………………….14-14 in finals (3-0 in ’12) 
            Appearing in his 18th clay court final……………………………..8-9 in finals (2-0 in ’12)

All-Spanish Finals -- This is the sixth all-Spanish final in the past eight years, all involving Nadal, and the 10th all-Spanish final in Barcelona in the Open Era (since 1968):
2012 – Nadal vs Ferrer
2011 -- Nadal d. Ferrer 62 64
2009 -- Nadal d. Ferrer 62 75
2008 -- Nadal d. Ferrer 61 46 61
2006 -- Nadal d. Tommy Robredo 64 64 60
2005 -- Nadal d. Juan Carlos Ferrero 61 76(4) 63
2001 -- Ferrero d. Carlos Moya 46 75 63 36 75
1997 -- Albert Costa d. Albert Portas 75 64 64
1991 -- Emilio Sanchez d. Sergi Bruguera 64 76(7) 62
1969 -- Manuel Orantes d. Manuel Santana 64 75 64
 
CLAY COURT KING – Nadal has the best career match record on clay in the Open Era with a 240-18 mark (.930) and he’s 33-4 in clay finals. Here's a year-by-year look at Nadal's clay court supremacy since 2005, compiling a 213-8 match record (.963) and 32-4 mark in clay court finals on the ATP World Tour:
             W-L    Clay Finals
2012 –  9-0          1-0
2011 – 28-2         3-2 (l. to Djokovic twice)
2010 -  22-0         4-0
2009 -  23-2         3-1 (l. to Federer)
2008 -  24-1         4-0
2007 -  31-1         5-1 (l. to Federer)
2006 -  26-0         4-0
2005 -  50-2         8-0
Note: Only two players (Djokovic & Federer twice each) have defeated Nadal in a clay court final

Open Era Clay Court Title Leaders – Nadal is No. 3 in the Open Era clay court titles leaders list:
                                             No.
1) Guillermo Vilas                    45
2) Thomas Muster                    40
3) Rafael Nadal                        33
4) Bjorn Borg, Manuel Orantes  30
6) Ivan Lendl, Ilie Nastase        28
8) Jose-Luis Clerc                    21
9) Mats Wilander                       20
10)Andres Gomez, Carlos Moya  16

2012 ATP World Tour Match Wins Leaders – Ferrer and Nadal lead the way in ATP World Tour match wins this season:

                            W-L    Titles
1) David Ferrer       28-4   3        4) Novak Djokovic  24-3 2
2) Rafael Nadal       26-3   1        5)  Roger Federer  23-3 3
    Nicolas Almagro 26-9     1       Juan Martin del Potro 23-6 1 

ROAD TO THE FINAL

(1) Rafael Nadal (ESP #2)
1st Rd: bye
2nd Rd: d. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP #78)  61 62 (1:21)
3rd Rd: d. (Q) Robert Farah (COL #246)  62 63 (1:26)
QF: d. (5) Janko Tipsarevic (SRB #8)  62 62 (1:23)
SF: d. (9) Fernando Verdasco (ESP #20)  60 64 (1:25)

(3) David Ferrer (ESP #6)
1st Rd: bye
2nd Rd: d. (WC) Filip Krajinovic (SRB #789)  60 63 (0:58)
3rd Rd: d. Albert Montanes (ESP #69)   60 62 (1:20)
QF: d. (7) Feliciano Lopez (ESP #16)  67(4) 76(7) 63 (2:45)
SF: d. (11) Milos Raonic (CAN #25)   76(2) 76(5) (2:05)

SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP FEDEX ATP HEAD 2 HEADS –

Pista Central

(1)Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs (3) David Ferrer (ESP) Nadal Leads 13-4
04 Stuttgart (Germany) Clay QF David Ferrer 6-3 6-7(3) 7-5
05 ATP Masters 1000 Miami (U.S.A.) Hard SF Rafael Nadal 6-4 6-3
05 ATP Masters 1000 Rome (Italy) Clay SF Rafael Nadal 4-6 6-4 7-5
05 Roland Garros (France) Clay QF Rafael Nadal 7-5 6-2 6-0
07 Barcelona (Spain) Clay SF Rafael Nadal 7-5 6-1
07 US Open (U.S.A.) Hard R16 David Ferrer 6-7(3)6-4 7-6(4) 6-2
07 Tennis Masters Cup (China) Hard RR David Ferrer 4-6 6-4 6-3
08 ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo  Clay QF Rafael Nadal 6-1 7-5
08 Barcelona (Spain) Clay Final Rafael Nadal 6-1 4-6 6-1
09 Barcelona (Spain) Clay Final Rafael Nadal 6-2 7-5
09 ATP Masters 1000 Montreal (Canada)Hard R32 Rafael Nadal 4-3 ret
10 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami Hard R16 Rafael Nadal 7-6(5)6-4
10 ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo  Clay SF Rafael Nadal 6-2 6-3
10 ATP Masters 1000 Rome (Italy) Clay Final Rafael Nadal 7-5 6-2
11 Australian Open (Australia) Hard QF David Ferrer 6-4 6-2 6-3
11 ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo  Clay Final Rafael Nadal 6-4 7-5
11 Barcelona (Spain) Clay Final Rafael Nadal 6-2 6-4

                               Rafael Nadal David Ferrer
 Sets Won:                       29              12
 Tiebreak Sets Won:           3                1

 Match Wins By Surface:
 Clay:                          10 (5-0 in finals) 1
 Hard:                               3                 3

 
Nadal FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
W: ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo (d Djokovic); F: Australian Open (l Djokovic); SF: Doha (l Monfils); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells (l Federer); ATP  Masters 1000 Miami (W/O vs Murray)
YTD W-L: 26-3 (9-0 on clay)
YTD Titles: 1/Career Titles: 47
Date of Birth: June 3, 1986
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 2

• Nadal, 25, the six-time champion (2005-09, ‘11), has a 34-1 career match record in Barcelona, winning 33 matches in a row since his only loss to countryman Alex Corretja in the second round in 2003…Has only dropped 16 games en route to seventh final here, beating Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 61 62, qualifier Robert Farah 62 63, No. 5 seed/No. 9 ranked Janko Tipsarevic 62 62 and No. 9 seed Fernando Verdasco 60 64…Has won 68 of 70 sets during streak (’06 QF vs. Nieminen, ’08 F vs. Ferrrer)…During week, has held serve 28 of 31 games (90%), saving 10 of 13 break pts. and winning 20 of 33 return games (61%), converting 20 of 40 break pts.
• Has a 47-21 career record in ATP World Tour finals (33-4 on clay) and 10-0 lifetime vs. Spaniards in finals…Has won 20 straight clay court matches since losing to Djokovic in last year’s Rome final
• The 25-year-old Mallorcan native is 26-3 on the season and last week he captured a record eighth straight title at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo (d. Djokovic)…Held serve 42 of 45 games and didn’t lose a set en route to his first title since Roland Garros last June (went 12 events since Paris)
• Opened the season by reaching semi-finals in Doha (l. to  Monfils) and followed with runner-up at the Australian Open, falling to Djokovic 57 64 62 67 75 in a record 5:53 marathon…Has reached the last four Grand Slam finals (1-3 mark) going back to Roland Garros (10-5 lifetime in finals)
• Prior to last week, his last match was Mar. 28 in Miami where he defeated No. 6 Tsonga in the quarter-finals before withdrawing from SF (vs. Murray) due to left knee injury…It was only second walkover he gave in 777 matches (’04 Estoril)
• Prior to Miami, he reached the singles semi-finals (l. to Federer) and captured his eighth career doubles title (w/M. Lopez) in Indian Wells…Did not drop a set in five matches during doubles play

Final Results in Barcelona: (total games lost in tourn.) #Four matches won
2011 - d. No. 6 David Ferrer (21) 62 64  2007 - d. No. 28 Guillermo Canas (28)     63 64 
2009 - d. No. 13 David Ferrer (18) #  62 75  2006 - d. No. 15 Tommy Robredo (39)      64 64 60
2008 - d. No. 5 David Ferrer (28) 61 46 61  2005 - d. No.  58 Juan Carlos Ferrero (24)   61 76 63

10 YEARS AGO TODAY! April 29, 2002 Rafael Nadal, at age 15, makes his ATP World Tour debut at the Mallorcan Open, and beats Paraguay’s Ramon Delgado 6-4, 6-4 in the first round to become the ninth player under the age of 16 to win an ATP match. Says Nadal following the win, “I really wanted to go out there and play well. I knew it was going to be difficult, but I held my game. I thought I played well, keeping the ball deep and maintaining the power." From Randy Walker's book ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY
 www.TennisHistoryBook.com
 
Ferrer FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
W: Auckland (d Rochus); Buenos Aires (d Almagro); Acapulco (d Verdasco); QF: Australian Open (l Djokovic); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami (l Djokovic)
YTD W-L: 28-4 (16-1 on clay)
YTD Titles: 3/Career Titles: 14
Date of Birth: April 2, 1982
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 6

• Ferrer, 30, the No. 2 Spaniard, is making his fourth final showing here in his 10th appearance (25-9 mark), losing to Nadal in 2008,’09, ’11 finals…Also lost to his countryman in SFin 2007
• Opened with a 60 63 win over Serbian Filip Krajinovic and followed with a 60 62 victory over countryman Albert Montanes, saved three match points in 67(4) 76(7) 63 win over No. 7 seed Feliciano Lopez and then beat No. 11 seed Milos Raonic 76(2) 76(5) in the semi-finals (saving four break pts.)
• Has held serve 43 of 44 games this week (98%), saving 10 of 11 break pts. (91%), and winning 78% of first serve pts. and 65% of second serve pts…Has broken opponents 11 of 42 games
• The Valencia resident is trying to capture a career-best and season-high fourth title on the ATP World Tour…Co-leader (w/Federer) and his three titles ties a career-high (also in 2007)…Has a 14-14 career mark in ATP World Tour finals, 8-9 on clay
• He enters with a 28-4 match record (most wins) on the season, including 16-1 on clay and 12-3 on hard…Last week lost his first and only clay court match in the opening round (after bye) to Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci in Monte Carlo
• Won three of first four tournaments in Auckland (d. Rochus), Buenos Aires (d. Almagro) and Acapulco (d. Verdasco)…In his other  tournaments he didn’t win, reached quarter-finals at the Australian Open and Miami (l. to Djokovic in both) and third round at Indian Wells (l. to Istomin)
• Looking for first Top 10 win of the season (0-2), second of career in a final vs. Top 10  (1-11)...Lone win came over No. 7 Tommy Robredo in ’07 Auckland…Overall has a 35-66 mark vs. Top 10 opponents

Beating Nadal twice on Clay – Ferrer is trying to become the fourth player to beat Nadal twice on clay. The others are: Gaston Gaudio (3), Novak Djokovic (2) and Roger Federer (2), Ferrer’s previous clay court win came in their first meeting (QFs) in Stuttgart in July 2004. Since then, Nadal has won 10 in a row on clay.

DOUBLES FINAL - (4) Fyrstenberg/Matkowski (POL/POL) vs. Granollers/M. Lopez (ESP/ESP)
• No. 4 seeds Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski, have since been pushed to match tie-breaks in all three of their rounds en route to the final (including in their quarter-final win over No. 7 seeds Qureshi/Rojer and semi-final win over No. 2 seeds Mirnyi/Nestor)
• Fyrstenberg and Matkowski are playing in their 33nd ATP World Tour doubles final together (11-21 record, they have never reached an ATP World Tour final with another player)
• Unseeded Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez have been pushed to a match tie-break just once in four rounds en route to the final; they have taken out three seeded duos this week: No. 5 seeds Cermak/Polasek, No. 3 seed Bhupathi/Zimonjic (who they lost the one set to) and No. 8 seeds Marach/Peya
• Granollers and Lopez are playing their fourth ATP World Tour doubles final together and are 0-3 in their first three (Zagreb and Stuttgart in 2011 and Acapulco earlier this year)
• Doubles final W-L: Fyrstenberg (11-21), Matkowski (11-21), Granollers (6-8), Lopez (6-6)

BUCHAREST SUNDAY PREVIEW – SIMON LOOKS FOR THIRD TITLE, FOGNINI TRIES TO WIN FIRST ATP TITLE
• The championship at the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy on Sunday features the top seed and former two-time Bucharest champ against an unseeded Italian attempting to capture his first ATP World Tour title. 

• Top seed and 2007-08 winner Gilles Simon brings a 14-1 career mark in Bucharest against first-time ATP World Tour finalist  Fabio Fognini of Italy. Simon owns a 3-0 head-to-head advantage over Fognini, winning all three meetings on clay three years ago (6-1 in sets). Simon is appearing in his first final of the season and 12th career ATP World Tour title match. He’s attempting to capture his 10th title, fifth on clay (4-1). Simon has won a title for the past five years (since 2007). Fognini is trying to become the first player to win his maiden ATP World Tour title this year. The last Italian to win an ATP World Tour title was Andreas Seppi in Eastbourne on grass last June. Italians are 0-2 in finals in Bucharest with Filippo Volandri (2006) and Andrea Gaudenzi (1997) former finalists.

WHAT’S AT STAKE
Winner   €71,900 and 250 South African Airways  ATP Ranking points  
Runner-up  €37,860 and 150 South African Airways  ATP Ranking points

FINALS HISTORY
Simon is appearing in his 12th career ATP World Tour final…...9-2 in finals (4-1 on clay), first this year
Fognini is appearing in his 1st career ATP World Tour final 

SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP FEDEX ATP HEAD 2 HEADS

(1)Gilles Simon (FRA) vs Fabio Fognini (ITA)  Simon Leads 3-0
09 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome Clay R32 Gilles Simon 6-7(6) 6-2 6-3
09 Estoril (Portugal) Clay R16 Gilles Simon 6-0 7-5
09 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid Clay R32 Gilles Simon 6-3 6-2

Simon FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
SF: Brisbane (l Dolgopolov); Montpellier (l Monfils); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo (l Nadal);      QF: ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells (l Isner)
YTD W-L: 20-10 (9-5 on clay)
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 9
Date of Birth: December 27, 1984

• Simon, 28, the No. 2 Frenchman (behind No. 5 Tsonga) enters his first ATP World Tour final of the season and 12th of his career (9-2)…He’s looking to extend his title streak to six straight years
• His previous best results this season were three semi-finals, last week at ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo),  in opening week in Brisbane (l. to Dolgopolov) and in February in Montpellier (l. to Monfils)…Also advanced to quarters in Indian Wells (l. to No. 11 Isner)
• Has a 20-10 match record on the year (9-5 on clay)…Prior to Monte Carlo,  played in Davis Cup QF tie vs. U.S. and lost to Isner in second rubber in straight sets and defeated Harrison in (fifth) dead rubber
• The 2007-08 Bucharest champion has a 14-1 career mark and appearing here for the first time in four years (d. Moya)…Previous year (d. Hanescu in final)…After a bye, opened with a 64 62 win over Dudi Sela and followed with a 36 61 63 victory over No. 7 seed Lukasz Kubot and 75 62 triumph over Matthias Bachinger…Has held serve 25 of 31 games (81%), saving 11 of 17 break pts. (65%) while breaking opponents a tournament-best 15 of 32 games (47%)
• Trying to become the second Frenchman to win an ATP World Tour title this season…Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won in the opening week of the year in Doha (d. Monfils)

Fognini FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
YTD W-L: 6-5 (5-2 on clay)
YTD Titles: 0/Career Titles: 0
Date of Birth: May 24, 1987
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 57

• Fognini, 24, is appearing in his first career ATP World Tour final  and he’s trying to become the first Italian winner since Andreas Seppi in Eastbourne in June last year (on grass)
• The No. 2 Italian (behind No. 46 Seppi) is trying to become the first player to win a maiden ATP World Tour this year…Last year there were 10 first-time winners and at this time in 2011 there were five c
• Has posted wins over Joao Souza 75 76(5), No. 5 seed Marcos Baghdatis 75 76(4), countryman/No. 6 seed  Seppi 64 67(4) 64 in three hours, three minutes (longest match of week) and qualifier Attila Balazs 63 61…Also first win in five meetings vs. Seppi
• Was sidelined earlier this year with a foot injury and comes in with a 6-5 match record (5-2 on clay)
• Has won 44% of return games (21 of 48), converting 21 of 40 break pts. (53%) and winning 57% of second serve pts.

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