Photo by Cesar Rangel
Rafael Nadal homepage
A week after winning the Monte Carlo Masters, Rafael Nadal produced another sublime performance to defeat international compatriot David Ferrer 7-6 (7-1) 7-5 in two hours 40 minutes of captivating tennis.
It signalled Nadal's seventh Barcelona Open title, having beaten Ferrer in four of the last five finals. The world number two became the first man in the Open era to capture two ATP events on at least seven occasions.
Only one decade ago, Nadal took to the court for his first match on the main tour and he has never looked back. Sunday's triumph signalled his 48th career title and he was made to work for it, surviving five set points to claim the opening set before a similar gruelling battle in the second.
Ferrer proved a match for his decorated opponent but spurned glorious chances to win both sets, losing his service match when 5-4 ahead in the final set. Nadal's powerful serving and deep forehand shots were too much for his opponent though and he continues his push for the no.1 ranking.
"This is the hardest match I had on clay court this season, David always takes you to the limit," Nadal told Spanish TV. "A bit of it was lottery, luck fell on my side today."
In 18 matches between the two players, Nadal has now won 14.