Barcelona Open 2013: Rafael Nadal Defeats Nicolas Almagro to Win Title

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IApril 28, 2013

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 27:  Rafael Nadal of Spain returns the ball to Milos Raonic of Canada during his semi-final match of day six of the 2013 Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell on April 27, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. Rafael Nadal won 6-4, 6-0.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal won his third straight and eighth career ATP Barcelona Open title on Sunday, defeating fellow countryman Nicolas Almagro in straight sets at Real Club de Tenis Barcelona, 6-4, 6-3.

The 11-time Grand Slam champion was down 3-0 early in the first set but turned it around, fighting back to win six of the next seven games to claim the opening frame 6-4. He wouldn't look back.

The eight-time Barcelona Open titlist has never lost to Almagro, having defeated the 27-year-old Spaniard now eight straight times on clay surfaces.  

What's more, for the third consecutive year, Nadal has run through the Barcelona Open field and taken the tournament crown without dropping a single set.

Nadal already held the record for most titles in Barcelona prior to this April's tournament but will add another for safe measure. Despite a hiccup last weekend against world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the final at Monte Carlo, the 26-year-old looks like the player to beat once again heading into next month's 2013 French Open, the second Grand Slam of the season.

Nadal has conquered Roland Garros a record seven times and boasts an unbelievable 52-1 career singles record on the Paris clay. 

Known simply as the "King of Clay," Nadal has owned the unique playing surface over the years, winning dozens of clay-court titles and setting a handful of impressive records.

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Next up, Nadal will likely take a week off as he usually does this time of year before participating in the ATP Madrid Open, a clay-court event set to begin on May 5. Nadal has won there twice in his career but lost in the third round to fellow lefty Fernando Verdasco in three sets in 2012.

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