It’s no wonder Rafael Nadal is considered the player to beat on clay…
The 25-year-old Spanish tennis superstar—currently ranked No. 2 in the world—defeated countryman David Ferrer 7-6 (1), 7-5 in the Barcelona Open final on Sunday to claim his seventh consecutive title at the tournament.
“It’s almost unimaginable to win here seven times,” said Nadal. “It’s a special tournament for me, at home in my club. To win at home in front of the people you know is always more special.”
Nadal needed two hours and 40 minutes to beat Ferrer, who is ranked No. 6 in the world.
“David pushed me to the physical limit and today, from a tennis standpoint, I did not play a brilliant match,” Nadal said.
Nadal has not lost in Barcelona since the second round in 2003, when countryman Alex Corretja beat him.
“David deserves (to win) this tournament more than anybody,” said Nadal. “I hope he wins it some day.”
Ferrer has now lost four Barcelona Open finals to Nadal in the past five years. The two also played in the final here in 2008, 2009 and 2011.
“I tried everything, like always, but Rafa is Rafa, and we all already know how good he is. I’ve lost four times, but I’ve lost to one of the greats,” Ferrer said.
Nadal, who has won 10 Grand Slam championships, is considered the “king of clay,” having won six French Open titles.
The Barcelona Open is one of the biggest clay-court events on the ATP calendar and a key tune-up for the French Open, which gets underway in late May.