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Rafael Nadal wins 11th Barcelona title, secures No. 1 ranking

Spain’s Rafael Nadal reacts after defeating Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-1 in the Barcelona Open Tennis Tournament final in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, April 29, 2018. (Manu Fernandez / Associated Press)
Spain’s Rafael Nadal reacts after defeating Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-1 in the Barcelona Open Tennis Tournament final in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, April 29, 2018. (Manu Fernandez / Associated Press)

BARCELONA, Spain – Rafael Nadal continues to make winning on clay look all too easy.

Nadal extended his dominance on the surface with a 6-2, 6-1 win over 19-year-old Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday to win his 11th Barcelona Open title.

Nadal, who also won his 11th Monte Carlos Masters title last week, was never seriously challenged on his way to a 19th straight victory on clay.

The top-ranked Spaniard has won 46 straight sets on clay, extending his own record. He hasn’t lost on clay since facing Dominic Thiem in Rome last year.

It was the 77th title overall for Nadal, tying him with John McEnroe for fourth best in the Open Era. Only Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer and Ivan Lendl are ahead.

Nadal, who won his 400th match on clay in Saturday’s semifinal, needed the victory in Barcelona to secure his No. 1 ranking.

“It’s hard for anybody to imagine all the feelings and emotions I have when I play here,” Nadal said. “Hopefully I can keep coming back for many more years to come.”


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