Rafael Nadal is no stranger to winning. In fact, the “King of the Clay” has won a whopping 77 titles, and as of April, 2018, he is ranked number one. This past Sunday, Nadal brought home another title, this time from Spain, when he beat Stefanos Tsitsipas, a Greek teenage phenom, 6-2, 6-1. Not only was this Nadal’s 11th Barcelona win, it was also his 55th clay-court tile, and his 46th consecutive win.
Of course, Nadal was quite proud of his win, though he joked with reporters following the match and said the bad thing about winning this 11th Barcelona Open is that it means he is getting old.
Nadal is certainly an institution in Barcelona, and the center court at Real Club de Tenis Barcelona, which is where the annual event is held. When he pulled out this victory, video screens lit up with a video review of all of the titles he has won in Barcelona. Nadal was quite humble, too, and admitted that seeing those videos made him emotional, as he never thought that he would ever have a career in tennis like the one he has now.
Stefanos Tsitsipas, Nadal’s opponent, has some things to be quite proud of himself, even though he was quick to fall to Nadal’s skills. First, Tsitsipas is only 19-years old, and he is the first Greek man to make it to an ATP final since 1973, when Nicholas Kalogeropoulos did it. He is also the youngest finalist in the Barcelona Open since 2005, which is when Nadal made his debut. Tsitsipas’ performance this week was good enough to rank in the World’s Top 50, being only the second teen to do it. Nadal also acknowledged the great skill of his opponent by telling the young player that he has a great future in tennis.
You might know that men’s singles wasn’t the only event held at the Barcelona Open; men’s doubles was also done, and Spain couldn’t be prouder. For the first time since 1997, a pair of Spaniards, Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez, won the event. This was their third title as a team. They beat Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan and Jean-Julien Rojer, a Dutch player.
Interestingly enough, Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi was the reigning champion of the Barcelona Open thanks to his win in 2017 along with Florin Mergea of Romania. Mergea chose to sit this one out, instead choosing to play at the Gazprom Hungarian Open with Marius Copil, also of Romania, but the pair couldn’t get past the first round.
Things were tricky for the Spaniards, and they certainly didn’t have as easy a road to victory as their countryman, Nadal. In the first set, the pair struggled, but they eventually got a one-set lead over their opponents. The win gave the players some momentum, and before they knew it, Lopez and Lopez had a very nice lead, and though there were a few struggles, they were able to walk away with the win. Each player received 500 ATP points for Doubles Ranking, and they received a monetary prize of €162,940, which they will split. Their opponents, Qureshi and Rojer, received 300 ATP points for Doubles Ranking, and a monetary prize of €79,770. That’s a pretty good takeaway for losing.