World No 5 clinches record 49th title on clay after beating Japan’s Nishikori to win Barcelona Open
Barcelona: World No 5 Rafael Nadal came up with a power-packed performance in the final of the Barcelona Open here against Japan’s Kei Nishikori yesterday to emerge victorious 6-4, 7-5.
In doing so, Nadal also equalled Argentine Guillermo Vilas’ record of 49 career clay-court titles. Just one week after accomplishing his ninth title run at the Monte-Carlo Masters on clay, Nadal stormed to his ninth crown here in Barcelona, which is definitely a happy hunting ground for the stylish left-hander. Nadal has thus continued his fine start to the clay-court season in Europe.
The wins also ensured Nadal ended Japanese star Nishikori’s 14-match winning streak across the red Barcelona turf here. Nishikori, the defending champion, had won back-to-back titles here, in 2014 and 2015.
Nadal held an 8-1 win-loss record against the Japanese player before yesterday’s final.
Bryans win doubles title
Meanwhile, Americans Bob and Mike Bryan won the Barcelona Open doubles title yesterday beating Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas and the Spaniard Marcel Granollers 7-5, 7-5 in one hour and 25 minutes. This is the Bryan brothers’ second title in 2016, after they won the US Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston earlier this year.
Stuttgart: Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber picked up her second title of 2016 with a 6-4, 6-0 victory over qualifier Laura Siegemund in the WTA clay-court final here yesterday. “It’s amazing to be able to defend my title here.
There is nothing better,” beamed Kerber. In an all-German final, Kerber didn’t drop a set en route her first win since her Melbourne triumph in January with an impressive display against Siegemund, who had beaten seeds Simona Halep, Roberta Vinci and Agnieszka Radwanska, all ranked in the world’s top 10.