Nadal captures sixth Barcelona title

Last Updated: Apr 25, 2011, 08:25 AM IST

Barcelona: World number one Rafael Nadal created more history on Sunday when he became the only man to win two tournaments more than six times after defeating David Ferrer 6-2, 6-4 in the Barcelona Open final.

The Spanish top seed, with 34 consecutive victories on clay, repeated his victory a week ago when he beat Ferrer for a seventh Monte Carlo trophy.

Nadal improved to a phenomenal 31-2 in claycourt finals with his only two losses coming to Roger Federer at Hamburg in 2007 and Madrid two years ago.

"I feel at home here. It`s a very special tournament," said the champion who celebrated with a traditional post-victory dip in the nearby club pool.

"It always has been as I grew up watching this tournament. It`s a historical tournament with a great tradition and great champions. It`s more than a dream to win here six times."

The Spanish powerhouse will now allow himself a few well-deserved days off but will quickly have to get back into winning mode with the Madrid Masters starting next Sunday and another title defence on the line for the world number one.

Nadal`s runaway victory in one hour and 49 minutes put him into third place on the all-time claycourt trophy list.

Only Guillermo Vilas, with 45 titles, and Thomas Muster, who won 40, are above his own 31.

Nadal`s comprehensive victory was his 13th in 17 matches played against Ferrer.

"It`s always sad to lose, but it`s been a very good week," said Ferrer, who has gone down in three Barcalona finals to Nadal.

"This tournament is very special to me. If someone told me I would reach the final in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, I would sign for sure."

Nadal`s return to the event after missing 2010 because of a knee injury was a joy and relief.

"I`m very happy to come back and win here after not playing last year. That was a difficult decision, it`s a always a special dream to play in this tournament."

Spain continued to dominate in Barcelona, with at least one Spaniard playing the final for the ninth straight year. The last non-Spaniard to win was Argentina`s Gaston Gaudio in 2002.

Nadal, the reigning French Open champion, has not lost on clay since going out to Robin Soderling in the fourth round at Roland Garros in 2009.

"I played a great first set. I was changing the directions of my shots very well. It`s been a very positive week and I think my level has been higher than in Monte Carlo. My serve worked much better this week, especially, and also my forehand," said Nadal.

As he did in his semi-final win over Croatian Ivan Dodig, which was the 500th victory of his career, Nadal lost early breaks in each set but always managed to fight back.

Over the course of his 34-match unbeaten clay run, Nadal has won 76 of 79 sets. He lost just 21 games during the week in Barcelona.

Bureau Report