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Nadal wins Barcelona title for 72nd straight win on clay

Nadal wins Barcelona title for 72nd straight win on clay

Rafael Nadal won his third straight Open Seat Godo championship Sunday, defeating Guillermo Canas of Argentina 6-3, 6-4 for his 72nd consecutive victory on clay.
Nadal, who hasn't dropped a set on clay since top-ranked Roger Federer won the first set of their French Open final last year, said a more aggressive style of play was behind his success at recent championships.
"I've had some difficult moments like when I went eight months without winning a tournament," Nadal said. "Since Dubai (in March) I made a change in my game and the victory at Indian Wells (March) was really important for my confidence."
Four players _ Nadal, Mats Wilander, Roy Emerson and Manuel Orantes _ have won three times at Barcelona. Nadal tied Wilander's 23-year-old record of three straight championships.
"To win here at my club for the third straight year is a dream," second-ranked Nadal said. "When I won the first it felt incredible, so just imagine how it must feel to win a third."
Top-seeded Nadal saved two break chances for Canas in the first game. Both players then held serve until the sixth when the French Open champion scored the decisive break, sending a forehand out of the Argentine's reach. Nadal then held for the set.
Nadal scored the decisive break in the seventh game of the second set. The Spaniard held serve for the rest of the set to win the 12th title of his clay court streak.
"The difference were the two breaks," Canas said. "At least playing against Nadal at his best will only serve to help me reach a level that I would like to reach with my own game."
Nadal improved to 3-0 against Canas, who reached his second straight final after losing to Novak Djokovic at the Sony Ericsson Open this month.
Nadal later played in the doubles final, and lost.
Fourth-seeded Andrei Pavel of Romania and Alexander Waske of Germany defeated Nadal and Bartolome Salva-Vidal of Spain 6-3, 7-6 (1).


Updated : 2021-03-07 17:47 GMT+08:00