Rafael Nadal: 'It was a special final against an in-form opponent'



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Rafael Nadal: 'It was a special final against an in-form opponent'

In one of the finest ATP title matches over the last decade, Rafael Nadal prevailed over Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-7, 7-5 after three hours and 38 minutes to secure the 12th Barcelona Open crown. Competing at the stadium that carries his name, Rafa has remained perfect in the title matches at one of his favorite tournaments, saving a match point to beat an in-form rival and claim the 87th ATP.

Tsitsipas won the title in Monte Carlo and reached the Barcelona final without losing a set, playing on a high level and giving his best against Rafa in a memorable final. In the end, the Spaniard prevailed in the decider's closing stages to lift the 61st ATP title on clay and celebrate in Barcelona for the first time since 2018.

Rafa saved 11 out of 13 break points and produced four breaks that sent him over the top, surviving that match point at 4-5 in the final set and rattling off the last three games to leave the opponent behind and bring the trophy home.

Rafael Nadal shared thoughts about an epic Barcelona Open final.

Like at the Australian Open in February, Stefanos refused to surrender, fending off match points in the second set before taking it in the tie break thanks to Nadal's colossal double fault at 6-6.

They stayed neck and neck in the final set, and Rafa saved that match point in game ten before delivering the crucial break a few minutes later. After the match, the Spaniard said that he never played the final in Barcelona like this one, praising the Greek and saying it was a significant victory that should help him in the upcoming tournaments.

Nadal will play Madrid and Rome ahead of his beloved Roland Garros, seeking the 14th Parisian title in June. "I think I never played a final like this in Barcelona; it means a lot to me, especially against a player like Stefanos, who won the Monte Carlo crown and reached the final here without losing a set.

It is a significant victory for me. I think I have been increasing my level during the whole week, and this triumph confirms it. That's important for today. It means a lot to me to lift the trophy, not only for my current form but for the future as well," Rafael Nadal said.