TENNIS – Rafael Nadal beats Pablo Carreno Busta to reach his 12th Barcelona Open final. He meets Greek Tsitsipas in the final today.
After his surprise quarter-final defeat in Monte Carlo to defeated finalist Andrey Rublev, Nadal has shown better form at the Barcelona Open. Although he was pushed to three sets in two of the earlier rounds.
Nadal faces Greek world number five Stefanos Tsitsipas who won his first Masters 1000 title after beating Rublev 6-3 6-3 in the Monte Carlo Masters final. It was also Tsitsipas who came back from two sets down to stun Nadal in February’s Australian Open quarter-finals,
Nadal v Tsitsipas
Nadal’s victory over fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3 6-2, sets up the exciting rematch with Tsitsipas. The Greek, aged 22, beat Italian Jannik Sinner, 19, 6-3 6-3 to reach the final.
World number three Nadal, 34, has won all 11 previous finals and has only ever lost four matches in Barcelona.
Nadal beat Tsitsipas in the 2018 final, losing just three games. That was three years ago and Tsitsipas has come on leaps and bounds since then, beating Nadal on clay in the semi-finals in Madrid in 2019.
“I will try to redeem myself from last time,” said Tsitsipas.
Nadal is not taking the match lightly, even though he has never lost a final here. “Tomorrow will be a very tough one. Stefanos is playing probably better than ever,” he said. “Not one set lost in Monte Carlo and here, so it will be the toughest opponent possible.”