Rafael Nadal wins Barcelona Open for record-tying 10th time
Rafael Nadal defeated Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-1 to win his 10th Barcelona Open title on Sunday.
It was the second consecutive week that Nadal had won a tournament for the 10th time. He had become the first men’s tennis player in the Open era to win the same title 10 times at the Monte Carlo Masters last Sunday.
“It means a lot to me to win 10 titles here in Barcelona as well,” Nadal said. “To win in Barcelona and Monte Carlo gives me a dream start to the clay season.”
It was Nadal’s second title of the season and 71st of his career. The fifth-ranked Spaniard had lost his previous three finals, including to Roger Federer in the Australian Open.
Next month he will try to win a 10th French Open title. The last of his 14 Grand Slams was three years ago in Roland Garros.
Nadal broke the ninth-ranked Austrian late in the first set and early in the second, then cruised to close out the match for his 51st career title on clay. He saved the only break point he conceded to Thiem at the “Rafa Nadal” center court. He was only broken twice in 47 service games throughout the week.
“It was vital for me to win the first set,” Nadal said. “It was difficult. I had a few more chances than him, but it was very even.”
The 30-year-old Nadal has won 10 consecutive matches and is 21-1 in his past 22 sets.
Thiem, who had upset top-ranked Andy Murray in the semifinals on Saturday, was trying to win his second title of the season. He won in Rio de Janeiro in February.
Nadal won five straight titles in Barcelona from 2005-09, then three consecutive from 2011-13, and now two in a row in 2016 and this year. He has a 10-0 record in finals in Barcelona, losing only one set. Nadal improved to 53-3 at the ATP World Tour 500 event.
Siegemund claims Porsche GP title
Laura Siegemund defeated Kristina Mladenovic 6-1, 2-6, 7-6 (5) to win the Porsche Grand Prix in her hometown of Stuttgart, Germany.
The German wild-card entrant, who lost to compatriot Angelique Kerber in last year’s final in Stuttgart, held on to win her second career title after Mladenovic had rallied in the second set.
Siegemund stormed into a 4-0 lead before Mladenovic broke in turn. But the French player failed to hold serve at all in the first set, which Siegemund wrapped up in 29 minutes.
Mladenovic improved drastically in the second, holding serve and converting both break opportunities, while Siegemund made 11 unforced errors. German finished with 29 altogether while Mladenovic had 32.
Mladenovic, who ended Maria Sharapova’s return from her doping ban on Saturday and Kerber’s defense on Thursday, was going for her second title of 2017.
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