Tuesday, 2 May 2017

10 for Nadal in Barcelona

Rafa Nadal had no problems winning his 10th Barcelona title, leaking a mere 5 games to Dominic Thiem in the final.

However, the first set was competitive throughout, with no break of serve for the first nine games.  Nadal had to save a break point in the opening game, but would face no more for the match.
The tenth game was pivotal, as Thiem committed three unforced errors, allowing Nadal to clinch the service break and take the first set 6-4.

Set two saw the Spaniard pour more pressure on the Austrian and the break came in the fourth game.  After that, it was plain sailing for Nadal, who claimed the crown 6-4 6-1, with 14 winners.

Winning 10 times at the same ATP tournament is a record and Nadal has now done it twice, here in Barcelona, and the week before in Monte Carlo. 
He has scarily won nine French Opens and must be hot favourite to make it an even 10 in a few weeks.

Laura Siegemund thrilled her German fans by going one better this year and winning the Stuttgart title.  It was a terrific final, and Kristina Mladenovic pushed Siegemund to the absolute limit, a third set tie break required to decide the victor.

The first set was one way traffic with Siegemund winning twice as many points and hitting eight winners to take it 6-1 in under half an hour.
Mladenovic struck back, converting the only break points of set two and levelling the match at 1-6 6-2.

The decider was a roller coaster where Siegemund eventually had the chance to serve for the match at 5-4.  Mladenovic survived and led 4-1 in the tie breaker before Siegemund rattled off six of the next seven points to win the title.

In other tournaments, Lucas Pouille won in Budapest, defeating Aljaz Bedene in the final, while Elina Svitolina won her third title for the year, overcoming Elise Mertens in Istanbul.

It is a busy time this week with ATP tournaments in Estoril, Munich and Istanbul, and WTA events in Prague and Rabat.
Already there has been a huge upset in Prague with the top seed Karolina Pliskova dumped from her home tournament in the first round in straight sets by Italian Camila Giorgi.

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