Nadal wins in Barcelona to close on Vilas' record
Rafael Nadal outmuscled fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo 6-4, 6-4, 6-0 for his 47th consecutive claycourt win.india Updated: May 01, 2006 21:19 IST
Rafael Nadal outmuscled fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo 6-4 6-4 6-0 to win the Barcelona Open on Sunday for his 47th consecutive claycourt win.
Nadal moved ahead of Bjorn Borg into second place in the Open Era list of consecutive wins on the surface.
"I think I usually play my best matches when I get to the final," Nadal said.
"I had a difficult match against (Jarkko) Nieminen in the quarter-finals but today I think was probably my best match of the week."
After two well-contested sets, Nadal cruised through the third to complete a successful title defence in two hours 19 minutes for his third tournament win of the year and the 15th of his career.
Nadal is now just six wins behind the record holder, Argentine Guillermo Vilas who set his mark in 1977.
The 19-year-old Nadal's last loss on the surface was to Russian Igor Andreev in April 2005.
"I am very happy (to pass Borg). He and Vilas are two of the best players of all time," he said.
"I am playing well but I am just starting out and for now my motivation is to have two days' rest and prepare for the Rome (Masters Series) event."
Nadal broke serve in the third game of the match and, after saving two break points in the eighth game, held again two games later to take the opening set.
Sixth seed Robredo attacked his younger compatriot's backhand with some success but a huge Nadal forehand gave him the chance to serve for the opening set at 5-4.
Robredo showed great spirit to save two set points before forcing a break point of his own, but an errant backhand gave Nadal the reprieve and he held on to move ahead by two sets to love.
Once the top seed had broken serve again in the opening game of the third set, the fight drained out of Robredo and Nadal ripped through the next five games to clinch victory.
"The first set was close but the second set was very close," said Robredo. "I had 4-3 15-40, then made one stupid mistake and he played a good point and that was it.
"If I had won that game and the set then maybe it would have been different but he is a very good player and it is very tough," he said.
First Published: May 01, 2006 11:17 IST