The first real blockbuster final since Melbourne will be contested Sunday as Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas for the Barcelona title.
Today in the semifinals, Nadal put together one of his best recent wins this season breezing past countryman Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3, 6-2.
“I am very happy to be back in a final here at an historic event, a home event, an important one for me,” said Nadal. “I think I did things well today, better than the other days. I have been improving every single day a little bit more.”
His 451st career win on clay put Nadal into his first tour final since his French Open win. He’s 11-0 in the Barcelona final which will be his 69th career title match on the clay.
In the final, Rafa will meet the hottest man on the tennis tour right now, Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Greek upped his torrid win streak to nine after a comprehensive 6-3, 6-3 win over Jannik Sinner. Tsitsipas has now won all 17 sets he’s played this year on the clay.
“It was very close. It was a close match,” said Tsitsipas. “He had a lot of break point opportunities on my serve. It could have been different, but I stayed tough and I converted those break points [I had]. That was crucial and very important.”
Nadal leads Tsitsipas 6-2 but Tsitsipas has a rare win over Nadal on clay in Spain at 2019 Madrid.
“Tomorrow will be a very tough one,” Nadal said of Tsitsipas. “Is playing probably better than ever.”
“Not one set lost in Monte Carlo and here, so it will be the toughest opponent possible. I hope to be ready. It is going to be a tough one, but I need to be ready to increase my level and let’s see.”
These two met in the 2018 Barcelona final which Nadal won handily 6-2, 6-1.
“It feels great to be back. I will try to redeem myself from last time,” Tsitsipas said.
“The fact that I was able to do it this year pushes me to push myself,” he said. “I feel like I need experiences like this to grow as a player. A final is always a very important phase in a tournament.”
If Nadal wins, he’ll also return to the No. 2 ranking in this all-Top 5 final.
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