Spanish tennis superstar Rafael Nadal said that winning the Barcelona Open again was special for him. Nadal, who was seeded at No. 1 in the Barcelona main draw, edged out second-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 6-7 (6) 7-5 tof win the Barcelona Open.
Nadal, a record 20-time Grand Slam champion, now has 12 Barcelona Open titles in his collection. "For me, the simple fact of being able to play in Barcelona after last year's tournament wasn't held means a lot to me," Nadal told the crowd during the trophy ceremony, as quoted on the ATP website.
"After almost a year of not being able to experience playing in front of a crowd, these are incredible feelings. I really appreciate the love and support you all have shown me throughout my career. Playing in my club and in front of fans means a lot."
Nadal came up big in key moments
Tsitsipas made a perfect start to the match, having broken Nadal in the third game for a 2-1 lead. Tsitsipas then had two break points in the fifth game to open a double-break lead but Nadal saved break points to reduce the deficit to 3-2.
Tsitsipas then served out the following game for a 4-2 lead, before Nadal claimed back-to-back breaks to win four games in a row and steal the opener. Tsitsipas was also up by a break in the second set but Nadal broke back in the sixth game to level the set at three games apiece.
Nadal had two consecutive match points on Tsitsipas' serve in the 10th game but the Greek saved to force a tie-break, in which he realized his third set point to force a decider. Nadal saved a match point on his serve in the 10th game of the third set, before he claimed the lone break of the set in the following game.
A week earlier, Nadal suffered a shock loss in the Monte Carlo Masters quarterfinal. Nadal will now focus on then upcoming Masters events in Rome and Madrid.