ThrowbackTimes Barcelona: Rafael Nadal eases past Stefanos Tsitsipas for title No. 77



by   |  VIEW 4913

ThrowbackTimes Barcelona: Rafael Nadal eases past Stefanos Tsitsipas for title No. 77

World no. 1 Rafael Nadal was the top favorite to pick another Barcelona Open title in 2018, doing that in style after beating all five rivals in straight sets to lift his 11th trophy from as many finals he entered! Nadal claimed 58 wins from 61 matches in Barcelona after defeating the young Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-1 in an hour and 17 minutes, claiming his 77th ATP title to join John McEnroe in the fourth place of the Open era list, 17 behind Ivan Lendl in third.

Besides, it was his 55th ATP crown on clay, manufacturing that incredible tally after winning 401 matches from 436 encounters on the slowest surface, proving once again his status of the most dominant clay-courter in tennis history.

Rafa did not lose a set on clay since Rome 2017 (46 sets in total), and Tsitsipas was unable to end that streak, getting broken five times and squandering all three break chances on the return to finish on the losing side.

It was the first ATP final for Stefanos, and he couldn't bring his A-game, wasting all three break opportunities and suffering five breaks to push Nadal over the top.

Rafael Nadal claimed 11th Barcelona Open title in 2018 over Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The talented Greek played on a high level for the entire week, beating four seeds and entering the final without dropping a set.

Still, that wasn't enough against Rafa, who controlled the pace from the baseline and overpowered his rival in the exchanges to win his second title in a row after Monte Carlo. Nadal landed 71% of the first serve in, and despite some troubles on his second serve, repelled all three break points in the second set's fourth game when he was already 6-2, 3-0 in front.

The pressure was on Tsitsipas, and he gave away 56% of the points behind the initial shot and faced ten break chances. Stefanos found it hard to defend his second serve, winning three out of 19 points and allowing Rafa to race over the finish line with five breaks on his tally.

Both players had more errors than winners, but Nadal tamed his shots more efficiently to control the scoreboard and claim his most convincing triumph in all 11 Barcelona finals.