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Rafael Nadal Beats Stefanos Tsitsipas to Win 12th-Career Barcelona Open Title

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIIApril 25, 2021

Rafael Nadal of Spain lifts the trophy after winning the final Godo tennis tournament against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, April 25, 2021. Nadal won by 6-4, 6-7, 7-5 (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
Joan Monfort/Associated Press

Rafael Nadal is the champion at the Barcelona Open for the 12th time.

The 34-year-old came from behind to defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-7(6), 7-5 and earn the title in what was the longest ATP Tour match of the year so far at three hours, 38 minutes. 

Nadal ended up dropping three sets throughout his tournament run, making this year the first in which he has won the title after losing more than one set. He is now 12-0 in Barcelona finals matches and owns a record 61 tour trophies on clay courts, a figure that is 12 ahead of second-place Guillermo Vilas. 

Tsitsipas, who entered off of his first Masters 1000 title win at the Monte-Carlo Masters, appeared in prime position to earn his first ATP 500 tournament victory. He entered the match with a 9-0 record on clay courts this season, going 17-0 in clay sets. 

He forced Nadal to save the championship point and fight to earn the victory through three straight games in the final set. 

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Nadal will climb to No. 2 in the ATP rankings on Monday, overtaking Daniil Medvedev.