Rafael Nadal is happy with his title at the Barcelona ATP tournament and the way he took the prize only makes him more satisfied. The number two in the world settled on Sunday in an extremely long final with Stéfanos Tsitsipás.
In a batch of no less than 3 hours and 38 minutes it became 6-4, 6-7 (6) and 7-5. It was the longest two-set final on the ATP Tour since those statistics were recorded in 1991.
“I haven’t been able to play a lot of competitive matches in recent months. Matches like these make me feel better physically and that I’m more ready for long fights,” said Nadal, who played and won his twelfth final in Barcelona. “I started playing better in every game this week, although there is still room for improvement. It wasn’t perfect yet.”
Nadal, who has won his first prize since winning Roland Garros for the thirteenth time in October last year, hopes to take his 21st Grand Slam title at the next edition in Paris. That would only make him the record holder.
“I am convinced that I can do better than what I am showing now on clay and I hope this victory will help me reach the level I need in the tournaments that are coming now,” said the 34-year-old Spaniard.
Nadal first plays the clay tournaments of Madrid and Rome before coming into action at Roland Garros, which starts on May 24.