Nadal Notches 10th Barcelona Title
One week after securing a record 10th title at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, Rafael Nadal etched his name in the history books once again, lifting a 10th trophy at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. Nadal's historic conclusion to the month of April extended to home soil, defeating Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-1.
"I'm very satisfied. It's been an emotional day for me. Playing in front of my crowd and my club and winning a 10th title here is something that's impossible to even dream of. It's very special and unique,” said Nadal. “I played my best match of the tournament this afternoon against probably the toughest opponent in the tournament, so I'm very happy."
Nadal has relinquished just one set in posting a staggering 10-0 record in Barcelona finals. He captured a 71st tour-level crown and 51st on clay, firing 14 winners and saving the lone break point faced. He was only broken twice in 47 service games throughout the week.
The Spaniard capped a record-breaking two-week stretch, which saw him become the first player to win 10 titles at a tour-level event in Monte-Carlo and repeat the feat on his native clay of Barcelona. He has won 20 of 21 sets thus far on the European clay-court swing.
Rafa's Ruthless Run In Barcelona Finals
|2017||Won Title||d. Thiem
||Won Title||d. Nishikori
||Won Title||d. Almagro
|2011||Won Title||d. Ferrer|
|2009||Won Title||d. Ferrer|
|2008||Won Title||d. Ferrer|
|2007||Won Title||d. Canas|
|2006||Won Title||d. Robredo|
|2005||Won Title||d. Ferrero|
Nadal and Thiem entered the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona on a cloudy, wind-swept Sunday afternoon. The Spaniard looked to capitalise on the heavy conditions, striking his leaping forehand high to Thiem's backhand. He was made to work for a seven-minute hold to open proceedings, saving a break point with a perfectly-placed drop volley. The pair would remain on serve until the 10th game, when the 10-time champion was poised to pounce with Thiem serving to stay in the set. A trio of unforced errors proved costly for the Austrian, and a netted backhand gave the opener to Nadal in less than one hour.
Nadal maintained the pressure in the second set, striking deep, penetrating groundstrokes to push Thiem behind the baseline. A cross-court forehand winner secured the decisive break for 3-1 and the World No. 5 would lift the trophy after one hour and 29 minutes. It was his third win in four FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings and first since prevailing in Monte-Carlo last year.
"It was a close first set and a good quality of tennis,” said Nadal. “Anything could have happened, but then I started playing at a very high level in the second set and Dominic probably started making a few more mistakes."
Nadal earned 500 points in the Emirates ATP Rankings, edging closer to Roger Federer at World No. 4. He also moves to within 300 points of Federer in the season-long Emirates ATP Race To London, as the two legends lead the quest to qualify for the ATP Finals at The O2 in London. The Manacor native brings home €464,260 in prize money.
Thiem, meanwhile, falls to 8-4 in ATP World Tour finals. He was bidding for a second ATP World Tour 500 title of the season, having emerged victorious in Rio de Janeiro in February. The Austrian, who claims 300 Emirates ATP Rankings points and €227,585, was the first player from his country to appear in the Barcelona final since Thomas Muster in 1996.
"He was hitting to my backhand and I couldn't really come out of it," said Thiem. "The next time I play him I have to change something. He didn't hit many unforced errors and give me any free points. It's difficult for any player in the world against him.
"I'm not used to playing two of the greatest players in two days. It was a great experience for me. It was two really good days for me and my game. It was easier for me to dominate the points yesterday, but today it was more difficult to get offensive."
It was a strong week at the Trofeo Conde de Godo for Thiem, who earned his first win over a World No. 1 in Satuday's semi-finals, defeating Andy Murray. The World No. 9 remains in third on the 2017 ATP World Tour match wins list, owning a 22-10 record. Nadal is in first with a 29-5 mark.