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Last Updated: Sunday, 24 April, 2005, 17:06 GMT 18:06 UK
Superb Nadal wins Barcelona title
Rafael Nadal, still only 18, is now up to number seven in the world
Rafael Nadal maintained his superb form to beat fellow Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-1 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 in the final of the Barcelona Open.

It was the 18-year-old's fourth ATP Tour title of the year following on from his win in Monte Carlo last week.

Ferrero put up some stiff opposition in the second set but Nadal was in irresistible form.

"I'm delighted and feel incredibly happy with what has been an amazing two months," said Nadal.

Nadal, who has also won on clay in Brazil and Mexico this year, now has a 25-2 record on the surface this season - the same as world number one Roger Federer.

He doesn't give you a lot of options and he never looks tired
Ferrero praises Nadal

The victory confirms his credentials as a serious contender for the French Open and means he will rise to seventh when the new rankings are released on Monday.

"It will be great to be ranked seventh. It's been a dream come true," said Nadal. "It's been a fantastic fortnight.

"I knew the final against Juan Carlos would be very exciting - he's one of the best on all surfaces and he's been playing with a lot of confidence - but I knew I had my chances.

"I played well and didn't make a lot of errors on important points, that was the key to the match," he added.

Ferrero was full of praise for his young countryman.

"He has no fear and when you're facing him on court he has that confidence - he's playing in the zone," said Ferrero.

"He doesn't give you a lot of options and he never looks tired. I tried everything and it didn't work.

"But I played very well today, it just wasn't enough. I can play better."

Struggling Safin defeated again
20 Apr 05 |  Tennis
Nadal spearheads next generation
20 Apr 05 |  Men's Tour

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