Rafael Nadal claimed his 12th Barcelona Open title on Sunday after three exhausting but high-quality tennis from the Spaniard and Stefanos Tsitsipas, who won the Monte-Carlo Masters last week.
Nadal beat the Greek 6-4, 6-7, 7-5 in almost four hours of gripping tennis, as the momentum swung back and forth.
Our Champion 🏆😍@RafaelNadal 🇪🇦 and his trophy of the #bcnopenbs 🏆👏🏼 name a better duo#ATP #atptour pic.twitter.com/BcVNH8DJfS
— Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell (@bcnopenbs) April 25, 2021
The Tsitsipas threat was a real one as the Greek was on a 9-0 run on clay and showed why some odds favour him at the French Open, which kicks off on May 24 in Paris. Nadal served off the match and won the first game to love.
Tsitsipas held serve and broke Nadal in the third game before holding again to take a 3-1 lead. Nadal had to save two game points to come back into the set in the fifth game. Nadal came roaring back in the eighth game to level at 4-4. Nadal then broke before holding to take the first set 6-4.
The second game followed almost the same script and went into a tie break which Tsitsipas claimed a 7-6 win that set up a tense decider. Both players held serve until the 11th game when Nadal made the breakthrough and he did not waste the opportunity as he took the match 6-4, 6-7, 7-5. This bodes well for Nadal as he chases a 14th French Open title.
Meanwhile, in Belgrade, world No.1, Novak Djokovic, was stunned by Australian Open revelation, Aslan Karatsev, in the semi-final of the Belgrade Open, which took place at the
Novak Tennis Centre.
Karatsev beat Djokovic 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 in a revenge of sorts after Djokovic beat the Russian in the semi-final of the 2021 Australian Open.
This is Djokovic’s second loss in two weeks-after losing to Dan Evans at the Monte-Carlo Masters.