Rafael Nadal won the longest recorded three-set ATP Tour final to win his 12th Barcelona Open crown. The Spaniard beat Monte Carlo Masters champion Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-7(6), 7-5 in three hours and 38 minutes.
It is the longest best-of-three set ATP Tour final since statistics were kept in 1991.
The win also took Nadal to a record 61 career titles on clay.
“I think I never played a final like this in this tournament, so it means a lot to me against a player like him, (after what) he achieved in Monte Carlo and (that he reached) the final here without losing a set,” Nadal said after the match.
“It is an important victory for me. I think I have been increasing my level during the whole week and this victory confirms it. That’s important for today.
“To have the trophy with me here at home means a lot, but at the same time for the future.”
The first time Nadal won the title in Barcelona was in 2005. It had earned him a breakthrough into the top 10 rankings. It’s been 813 weeks since then, and he hasn’t dropped out of the top 10.
CONFIRMED: Rafael Nadal will move up to No. 2️⃣ in the @FedEx ATP Rankings on Monday.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) April 25, 2021
The recent win however, takes him back to the No 2 spot, behind just Novak Djokovic.
The top seed though had to work hard for the win. He saved a match point while serving at 4-5, 30-40 in the third set before winning three consecutive games to earn the title.
This was also the first time the 34-year-old won the title in Barcelona after dropping more than one set – three.
Berrettini wins fourth Tour title
World No 10 Matteo Berrettini claimed his fourth ATP title by beating rising Russian Aslan Karatsev 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(0), to lift the Serbia Open title in Belgrade.
A fourth ATP Tour title for @MattBerrettini! 👏
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) April 25, 2021
This was only the third tournament of the year for the Italian, after the Australian Open and the Monte Carlo Masters.
His opponent Karatsev, meanwhile, continued his rapid rise on the tour. He made it to the Australian Open semi-final despite starting as a qualifier, and then won the Dubai Open before beating home-favourite Novak Djokovic to reach the final on Sunday.