Nadal beats Thiem to win 10th Barcelona Open title


Photo: BBC

Photo: BBC

Rafael Nadal swept aside Dominic Thiem of Austria 6-4 6-1 to claim his 10th Barcelona Open title.

The Spaniard – who became the first man in the Open era to win the same event 10 times at last week’s Monte Carlo Masters – did not drop a set this week.

Nadal, 30, has now won 10 consecutive matches and is aiming for his 10th French Open title next month.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Aljaz Bedene had his 16-match winning run ended by Lucas Pouille in the Hungarian Open final.

‘Anything could have happened’

The former world number one played all of his matches on the renamed Rafa Nadal court at the Real Tennis Club, and needed just 90 minutes to finish off Thiem.

World number nine Thiem beat world number one Andy Murray in the semi-finals and claimed the first break point of the contest.

However, Nadal broke serve in the 10th game and claimed the first set, before breaking twice in a row in the second to clinch the title on his favourite clay surface.

He was only broken twice in his 47 service games throughout the week.

“It was a close first set and a good quality of tennis – anything could have happened,” said Nadal.

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“But then I started playing at a very high level and Dominic probably started making a few more mistakes.”

British number four Bedene was beaten 6-2 6-1 by French top seed Pouille, who secured his second ATP Tour title.

The world number 14 broke the Briton’s first service game, and three further breaks in the second set secured a straightforward victory.

Bedene, 27, was ranked outside the top 100 at the beginning of March but has climbed to world number 68 and will move higher still on Monday.

His streak of 16 straight wins includes back-to-back titles on the second-tier ATP Challenger Tour earlier this month.

But his unbeaten run was finally ended as Pouille won in just 64 minutes.

“I’m a little disappointed because I had problems with my finger and felt uncomfortable hitting my shots,” Bedene said.

“I wasn’t close to the level I should be at to beat Lucas, but he was playing really well. It was like everything went in for him.”

Elsewhere, in Morocco Open qualifying on the women’s tour, British number four Tara Moore lost 6-1 6-2 to fiancee Conny Perrin, BBC reports.

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