Rafael Nadal Beats Stefanos Tsitsipas to Win 2018 Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IApril 29, 2018

Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts after scoring a point against Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas during the Barcelona Open Tennis Tournament final in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, April 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

Rafael Nadal won the 2018 Barcelona Open for the 11th time in his career on Sunday, when he beat Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets.

The world No. 1 took just 40 minutes to win the first set 6-2, as he outclassed his 19-year-old opponent. The second set was a similar story, with Nadal claiming it 6-1 to continue his dominance on clay.

Tsitsipas started well and held serve in the first game, but the match was promptly disrupted by rain, forcing a short break in play.

The conditions did not affect Nadal, who returned and levelled the match before breaking to love to take a 2-1 lead.

Another break to love saw Nadal move 4-1 ahead, and that became 5-1 with a brilliant volley while running towards the baseline. Tennis TV showed the Spaniard's brilliance:

Tsitsipas did manage to pull one game back but simply had no answer for Nadal's power and pace, as the defending champion took the first set 6-2.

Sky Sports Tennis highlighted how dominant Nadal is on clay:

The second set was a similar story, with Nadal breaking in the first game and then sealing his hold to love with a brilliant forehand winner down the line to move 2-0 ahead, as shown by Tennis TV:

Nadal's performance was no surprise to tennis commentator David Law:

Tsitsipas threatened briefly at 3-0 down in the second set and forced his first break points of the match as Nadal's level dipped briefly. However, he could not take any of the opportunities, and Nadal recovered to hold serve.

The teenager did manage to avoid a bagel by winning the next game, but he only delayed the inevitable, as Nadal broke yet again to clinch the title.

It was another imperious performance from Nadal on clay, and he looks almost unbeatable on his favourite surface. The Spaniard has been in top form throughout the tournament and seems to be in great shape heading towards the 2018 French Open, which gets underway in earnest on May 27.

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