(Ahh, the taste of a repeat victory!)
Another Sunday, another championship for Rafa. Our Hero took home the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell trophy (it's ginormous! Just look at the photo!) for the seventh time today, as defeated David Ferrer 7-6(1), 7-5 in a truly hard fought the final. This is Nadal's 48th career title. Will he get to 50 by the French Open? It's a tough road, but not impossible!
You gotta feel for Ferrer. This is the fourth time Nadal has beaten him the Barcelona final. Nadal's lifetime record against Ferrer is 14-4, but Ferrer refused to go down without a tremendous fight. With Nadal serving at 5-6 in the 1st set, I was all ready to go on my morning run as soon as the assumed tie break was over. But then that game lasted FOREVER - with Ferrer earning five set points against Rafa. Rafa erased each one. After that Nadal ripped through the tie break, taking it 7-1.
It again looked like an easy day at the office for Rafa when he broke for 3-1 in the second set. I figured Ferrer would see the writing on the wall and cave. But no! Ferrer fought really hard to get back to 5-4.and serving for the set, but Rafa took it up a notch AGAIN, breaking Ferrer, then holding his own serve, then breaking again at love to secure the set, match and the championship.
Rafa's win here along with his win last week in Monte Carlo make him the first player in the Open Era to win two ATP World Tour tournaments at least seven times. Ferrer isn't doing too badly this season either with three ATP World Tour titles already to his name in 2012. Best of luck to Ferrer for the rest of the season... but not better results than Rafa! VAMOS!!
Also I would like to say that the "It's all about Rafael Nadal" fan page on FB has been the best discovery of the month. It constantly fills my newsfeed with great pictures (candid and on court) and news about where Rafa is going and what he's doing. It brings the awesomeness right to me and I can just sort through it and enjoy. Whoever runs that page gets a huge thank you from me.
I also want to give a quick shout out to Maria Sharapova who beat Victoria Azarenka in the Porsche Grand Prix Final in Germany today 6-1, 6-4, for her first title of the year. Sharapova had been a finalist in several recent tournaments, but couldn't quite seem to get to the top of the podium, and had lost her last two matches to Azarenka. I like Sharapova's fighting spirit and I wish her a lot more success in the clay court season on the women's side. Vamos, lady!