Nadal Enjoying The Moment In Barcelona | ATP World Tour | TennisThe number “10” has become a reoccurring motif for Rafael Nadal this clay-court season. Just one week after winning his 10th title at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, the Spaniard hit the double digit mark in titles once again with a convincing victory over Dominic Thiem at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, setting himself up as a clear contender to repeat the feat at Roland Garros.
Nadal’s numbers on clay continue to be staggering. In addition to remaining unbeaten in Barcelona finals (10-0), he picked up his 71st ATP World Tour title (71-35 in finals) and 51st on clay (51-8 in finals). April continues to be the Spaniard’s most dominant month with 19 titles overall, followed by May (12), June (11) and July (7). Nadal has won his past 19 sets on clay and was only pushed beyond 6-4 once, taking a tie-break over #NextGenATP Korean Hyeon Chung in the Barcelona quarter-finals.
“I’m very satisfied. It’s been an emotional day for me. Winning a 10th title here is something difficult to describe. Playing in front of my crowd and my club and winning the 10th title here is something that’s impossible to even dream of. It’s very special and unique,” said Nadal. “I played my best match of the tournament this afternoon against probably the toughest opponent in the tournament, so I’m very happy.”
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Nadal is closing in on Federer’s lead in the Emirates ATP Race to London, which counts only the results since January 1 this year. Nadal will have amassed 3,745 points this season when the new standings are released on Monday, trailing Federer by only 300 points. With the Swiss star sitting out for Madrid and Rome, and Nadal planning to play both events, it’s highly likely the Spaniard will take over the top spot in the race next month.
Learn more about the Emirates ATP Rankings and Emirates ATP Race to London
The Barcelona champion will remain at No. 5 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday, but has far fewer points to defend during the remainder of the clay-court season compared to World No. 1 Andy Murray and World No. 2 Novak Djokovic. Nadal earned 630 points last year during the three-tournament stretch of Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros, compared to 2,800 for Murray and 3,600 for Djokovic. If Murray and Djokovic are unable to produce their best tennis, Nadal could set himself up to potentially take over the No. 1 ranking in the second half of the season.
But for now, the Spaniard’s focus is on rest and recovery. He plans to soak in his accomplishments this month before getting ready for his next events.
“Now is the time for me to enjoy these two weeks that are very special. I’ll go home to Mallorca and have some rest, then start to think about Madrid and Rome,” said Nadal. “They’re two very important events for me, so I’m excited about it.”