After winning a 10th Monte Carlo last week, Rafael Nadal did the same in yet another tournament in Barcelona. To put the achievement into context, no one had ever won 10 titles at a single tournament ever and now Nadal has done it in two different tournaments, with a chance for a 3rd in June at Roland Garros.
Nadal won it all this week without even losing a set and only being taken to one tiebreak, by Chung in the quarters. The final was expected to be a tight contest and it actually was… for the first few games at least. Once Nadal got the break, he just suffocated an increasingly desperate Thiem, who was finding no way to break through Nadal’s defense and just kept overhitting his shots. It was surely not the way Thiem had planned to end his week in Barcelona, but he’s not the first nor will be the last player to get steamrolled by the force of nature that is Nadal on clay. Thiem should still feel optimistic of his prospects for the remainder of the clay season.
In his post-victory presser, Nadal referred to this as a ‘unique’ day for him, winning a 10th title at home and highlighted the confidence that such an achievement will give him going forward this clay season.
And so another edition of the Barcelona Open has been wrapped up, with the same ending as usual, and Nadal’s favoritism to win Roland Garros only further reinforced. But there were other interesting stories to follow, with Thiem’s run to the final, Sugita’s unexpected upset string, Khachanov’s wins over Cuevas and Goffin before faltering to an inspired Zeballos, Murray (just barely) avoiding a second loss in two weeks to Ramos. Even if the winner felt nigh on inevitable from the beginning of the week, it was still a great tournament to follow for the crowd and all tennis fans in general.