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Ripples from Barcelona Open

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Ripples from Barcelona Open

APRNEWS - The new champion, Dominic Thiem stated the obvious, that the Bank Sabadell Barcelona Open is a special event he was glad to have won. He became only the second player to break the Spanish monopoly of the titles, since Carlos Moya won in 2004. The other player is Kei Nishikori, who lifted the trophy in 2014 and 2015.

In all that period, except for Feliciano Lopez in, Rafael Nadal sealed the home country’s dominance by winning 11 titles. After his semifinal losses in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, questions about Nadal and his future dominate the world of tennis.

The next leg of the Spanish tennis circuit is Madrid where all the top players will gather to chase the 1000 ranking points for the winner. Madrid is the political capital of Spain, but Barcelona is the city of Spanish culture.

In the 2019 Barcelona quarterfinals, Nadal defeated compatriot David Ferrer for the 26th time in 32 encounters. Although they are good friends, Ferrer cannot but wonder about the number of titles he might have won if Nadal had not been the one across the net.

Ferrer won their first encounter, 6/3, 6/7 (3), 7/5 in the quarterfinals of 2004 Stuttgart. A year later, Nadal won in the semifinals of Miami and Rome Masters, as well as quarterfinals at the Roland Garros. Nadal defeated Ferrer in the finals of Barcelona (2008 and 2009), Rome 2010, Monaco 2011 and Barcelona (2011 and 2012).

In other major tournaments, the Nadal victories were in the quarterfinals or semifinals. As his career comes to a close, Ferrer lost his last match in Barcelona to Nadal. The tennis world can only hope that the draw would not pitch him against Nadal in Madrid, where he will conclude his remarkable career.

The new champion of Barcelona lost to Nadal in the finals of both Madrid and Barcelona in 2017, as well as the finals of Roland Garros 2018. If those results had been different, Dominic Thiem would have had higher ranking for those two years and into 2019.

Dominic Thiem defeated Nadal 7/5, 6/3 in the quarterfinals of 2018 Madrid Masters. His semifinal victory over Nadal in Barcelona 2019 portends a snatching of the baton from the older generation.

With The Guardian