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Nadal wins fourth Barcelona title

Nadal is now unbeaten in 20 matches in Barcelona
Nadal is now unbeaten in 20 matches in Barcelona

Rafael Nadal continued his domination of the clay-court season with victory over fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in the final of the Barcelona Open.

The world number two took the title for the fourth straight year with a 6-1 4-6 6-1 win over the second seed.

After starting strongly and dominating the first set, Nadal dropped serve twice as Ferrer took the second.

But the champion stepped up a gear in the decider, moving 5-0 up and sealing the title in two hours 14 minutes.

Having also won the Monte Carlo Masters last Sunday, Nadal heads to next week's Rome Masters as a strong favourite.

He has now won 103 of 104 matches on clay since 2005, with the only defeat coming against Roger Federer in Hamburg last year.

"The first set I played very well, almost perfect, but he was very strong in the second set and I am just very happy to have won here again," said Nadal.

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"When I did make mistakes, in the second set, David was unstoppable but I kept very focused throughout and I am very happy to be the first man to win four years in a row."

Ferrer admitted: "The one thing I wanted to do was to not let him dominate early on but he started so strongly.

"I think I played a good match but what can you do? That's Rafa.

"He has been playing at this level for four years now and you never have a moment to relax against him."

Nadal has complained about the crowded schedule this year due to the Olympics taking place in August.

Going into the French Open later this month, the 21-year-old will have played for four consecutive weeks with only one week off ahead of the defence of his Roland Garros title.

"I know I have been complaining about it but there is nothing we can do for this year," he said.

"The players are united so hopefully we can do something in the future.

"I have a tough first match in Rome against (Juan Carlos) Ferrero or (Nicolas) Kiefer, so that helps me keep my feet on the ground.

"I am very happy to have won the first two tournaments but it is going to be very difficult for the others."

Elsewhere, Fernando Gonzalez won his second title of the year with a hard-fought 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 win over Italy's Simone Bolelli in Munich.

In Prague, Russia's Vera Zvonareva beat Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 to claim her sixth WTA title, and Gisela Dulko beat Anabel Medina Garrigues 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-5) in Fez, Morocco.


see also
Ancic sends Murray crashing out
29 Apr 08 |  Tennis


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