Rafa Nadal equaled the record of 49 clay-court titles held by the great Guillermo Vilas, by clinching his ninth title at Barcelona. Nadal beat the defending champion Kei Nishikori 6-4 7-5.
It was a close match with Kei having nine chances to break in the first set but Rafa managed to save eight of them, proving he was the better player mentally throughout this fixture. The double defending champion Nishikori staged a decent comeback in the second set after faltering behind 1-4 but couldn’t carry on the momentum to cause any serious damage.
Nadal now has 9 titles at three different tournaments, Monte Carlo and Roland Garros being the other two. It was his 69th career title in his 101st appearance in a final. Rafa’s fans took twitter to applaud their hero, many citing this comeback a much needed one before next month’s French Open. Here are some of the tweets.
— Fan de Sabri & Nadal (@Sabri_Sahid) April 24, 2016
— Johan Landsberg (@LandsbergTennis) April 24, 2016
— Kaushik LM (@LMKMovieManiac) April 24, 2016
Rafa Nadal and the trophy which pined for him since he left her for 2 years. See how happy the trophy is? ????????? pic.twitter.com/DxyYk6uRX6
— aRNi (@Arni_Abd) April 24, 2016
Rafa Nadal has now won 3 different clay court events 9 times.#kingofclay
— Stephen Benson (@srbtennisclub) April 24, 2016
— Davis Cup (@DavisCup) April 24, 2016
Congratulations @RafaelNadal on your second title on clay this year. Loving the clay season right now. ? Good luck in Madrid!
— Lee (@leefsp) April 24, 2016
Last time when #Nadal won two titles in consecutive weeks was in 2013: Montreal & Cincinnati. Then he completed the hattrick with US Open.
— Pau Ferragut (@PauFerragut) April 24, 2016
? ¡NADAL IS BACK! ? pic.twitter.com/I3IPGf4cy6
— Planeta Apuestas (@Multi_Apuesta) April 24, 2016
That was one of the best straight sets matches you'll see.
Nadal looking ever more like the Nadal of old. 9. pic.twitter.com/VJmNZbs04M
— David Law (@DavidLawTennis) April 24, 2016