Rafael Nadal wins 12th Barcelona open title against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas
Nadal followed with 4-2 in the opening, but recovered, breaking twice to catch him.
Tsitsipas, number five in the world, had great weight in the second set, saving two match points in game 10, before drawing in the tie-break.
In a tight third set, Nadal faced a match point before gathering the pressure to win 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 7-5. Victoria, who lasted three hours and 38 minutes, gave the 34-year-old his 61st clay title and faced a fit opponent who won the Master’s women’s title in Monte Carlo last week.
“Winning the trophy here means a lot,” said Nadal, who had lost just one set in the previous 11 finals in Spain. “I increased my level and it was an important victory for me.” Tsitsipas, who recovered from two sets to beat Nadal at the Australian Open in February, started this strong game before the Spaniard returned to the opening set. Nadal came back from a break in the second set after Tsitsipas regrouped well.
This put him on the verge of victory on the field that bears his name, but Tsitsipas showed his own willingness to stay in the competition, recovering from 15-40 to 4-5 with two good points, including a wonderful volleyball winner. second. An extremely troubled tie-break saw Nadal lead 4-2, then save two 4-6 setpoints just to make a double mistake in 6-6, which helped Tsitsipas to eliminate him.
The third set was dominated by the service until 4-5 when Nadal staggered in his own delivery, but in the end, the Spaniard was the most difficult.
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