Rafael Nadal defeated Kei Nishikori 6-4 7-5 in the final of the Barcelona open, tying Guillermo Vilas for the record of most tournament wins on clay courts with 49 trophies on the particular surface.
This was the ninth time Nadal captured the Barcelona Open, and neither he nor Nishikori had dropped a set throughout the tournament leading into Sunday’s final.
Nishikori had the opportunity to break during the third game in the first set, but Nadal remained firm. It was the Spaniard, in turn, who broke Nishikori’s serve in the very next game.
With the break in hand, Nadal won the first set, putting the 6th ranked player in the world in an insurmountable hole to climb.
The tournament win means Nadal has won the Monte Carlo open and the Barcelona open in quick succession in recent weeks, finally putting doubts to rest about whether he can return to his pre-injury form, after such comfortable and dominant performances on clay.