BARCELONA: Rafael Nadal won his 35th career title, and fifth in a row at the Barcelona Open as the World No 1 pounded fellow Spaniard David Ferrer 6-2, 7-5 in the final.
The victory comes on the back of Nadal securing five consecutive Monte Carlo titles a week ago as the 22-year-old’s clay dominance shows no signs of slowing ahead of the French Open and a possible fifth there as well.
Nadal’s title triumph was a re-run of the 2008 edition, where he also beat Ferrer and marked the fourth all-Spanish final here in the past five years. Nadal becomes the seventh consecutive home champion at the Real club.
“I could have never even imagined that I could win here for the fifth time,” said the champion, who played on a day when rainstorms raked the city in the morning but moved away in time for play to begin. “Congratulations to David also. Even if it was impossible for him to win today, he had a great tournament. For me, this is much more than a dream.”
The top seed did suffer a minor blemish as he lost his first three service games of the week, the second set being more competitive as the first four games went against the server. But once he gathered himself, the mighty Nadal finally secured a break for 6-5 and served out victory in one and three quarter hours on his second match point.
Nadal will head directly for the Rome Masters which began today. A year ago, a patently exhausted Nadal lost in the second round match to compatriot Juan Carlos Ferrero.