Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas suffered a tight loss in the Barcelona Open final but he tried to stay in positive spirits. Tsitsipas, seeded at No. 2, was edged out by Rafael Nadal as the Spaniard won 6-4 6-7 (6) 7-5. "I think I have been able to play better and better during the whole week, every single match, and today was a little bit better than yesterday, and I think I have room to keep improving," Tsitsipas said, per Tennis Majors.
Tsitsipas saved two consecutive match points in the second set but he fell just short of claiming a huge comeback win. "I haven't seen anyone fight like this. He makes my life really difficult on court," Tsitsipas said of Nadal.
"It also kind of makes me a better player, and I can see myself reaching my limits, so it's definitely something good to have, for my personal development and growth."
Nadal showed his respect for Tsitsipas
"I think I never played a final like this in this tournament, so it means a lot to me against a player like him, [after what] he achieved in Monte-Carlo and [that he reached] the final here without losing a set," Nadal said.
"It is an important victory for me. I think I have been increasing my level during the whole week and this victory confirms it. That's important for today. "To have the trophy with me here at home means a lot, but at the same time for the future."
Nadal 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.
"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."