When Rafael Nadal followed Roger Federer's record

Tennis - Nadal reached the 12th Barcelona Open final last year

by Jovica Ilic
When Rafael Nadal followed Roger Federer's record

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have been the dominant figures on the list with the most finals at a single tournament, standing as the only players to achieve that at least 12 times. To make things even better, two great rivals have repeated that at multiple events, setting the record that will hardly be matched in the future.

Federer was the only player with 12 ATP finals at three different stops in the calendar, and Nadal joined him last April after advancing into his 12th Barcelona Open title match. The Swiss played in 15 finals at home in Basel, an Open era record, backed by 13 finals in Halle and 12 at his beloved Wimbledon.

On the other hand, Nadal has built his legacy around the clay events, reaching 13 finals at Roland Garros, 12 in Monte Carlo and the same number in Barcelona to match Roger's pace. Alongside Paris and Monte Carlo, Barcelona has been one of Nadal's lucky charms, claiming 12 titles since 2005 and losing only four matches since he made a debut in 2003 at 16!

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are the only players with 12 finals at three events.

Rafa suffered the quarter-final loss in Monte Carlo before Barcelona, failing to add another final to his tally and hoping for a better run at the home event.

Playing on the court that carries his name, the Spaniard had to dig deep against Ilya Ivashka and Kei Nishikori in rounds two and three, beating both in three sets and playing a better match in the quarter-final against Cameron Norrie.

It was Nadal's 450th ATP victory on clay, and it gave him a boost to push even harder in the semis versus a compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta. Rafa scored his 65th Barcelona Open win from 69 matches with a 6-3, 6-2 triumph in an hour and 28 minutes, beating Pablo for the eighth time in as many encounters.

World no. 3 lost serve once and produced four breaks from ten opportunities to control the scoreboard and set the title clash against an in-form Stefanos Tsitsipas. Seeking the 12th Barcelona crown from as many finals, Nadal prevailed over Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-7, 7-5 after three hours and 38 minutes, fending off a match point in the most extended best-of-three ATP final in 30 years.

Rafael Nadal Roger Federer Barcelona Open