• Nadal captures eighth Barcelona crown

    4/28/13 9:04 PM | Kelli DeMario
    Nadal captures eighth Barcelona crown World No. 5 Rafael Nadal is eight-times a champion at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell after dismissing compatriot Nicolas Almagro in straight sets. The second seed won his 54th ATP World Tour title Sunday afternoon.

    World No. 5 Rafael Nadal completed a successful title defense in Barcelona, having ousted fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro Sunday afternoon. The 26-year-old, who takes home title number eight at the tournament, sealed the championship victory in 92 minutes, 6-4, 6-3.

    “I feel very happy to lift the trophy once again here in Barcelona. It means a lot especially after the difficult year I’ve had,” Nadal commented. “The conditions were very difficult today, especially in the first six games as it was raining a lot.

    “I am extremely satisfied about being able to defeat a player like Nico in straight sets in the final. I played better and better as the match went on and the break at 1-3 in the first set was vital for me. In the second set, things went smoother and I managed (to play) well in all the difficult moments.”

    By virtue of Sunday's win, Nadal improves to a perfect 10-0 over Almagro.

    “With the rain, the ball got heavier and it wasn’t the same for me anymore. The speed went down and he was able to stay more in the point,” Almagro assessed.

    “I feel okay after the match. I fought all week to be able to be in the final and I reached my goal. Once there, you want to win, so yes I feel a bit disappointed about it but I need to look at it positively and it’s been a great week for me overall. I felt great here all week with the crowd and all the people from the club.”

    Nadal ended the day with four of 9 break points converted.

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Well Done, Rafa! Vamos

?With the rain, the ball got heavier and it wasn?t the same for me anymore. The speed went down and he was able to stay more in the point,? Almagro assessed.

I wish people would make up their minds, I thought the heavy ball was a disadvantage to Rafa.

nadline , 4/29/13 9:47 AM

If Rafa was going to win just one M1000 up to now this season, I'm glad that it's IW and not MC. Had he not won IW, the tennis blogosphere would have been rife of talk of him being a clay court specialist.

nadline , 4/29/13 10:46 AM

^^My sentiments exactly, made sweeter by the fact that IW was fully loaded with all the "HC Specialists" in the draw.

rafaisthebest , 4/29/13 12:04 PM

Nadline,sunshine is surely better for rafa's game..almagro cant take adv of wet conditions because his defensive skills are poor..

vamosrafa , 4/29/13 12:09 PM

vamosrafa, Almagro is saying that the soggy conditions helped Rafa because the ball was heavy. That's what I find hilarious, Almagro thinking he would have had a better chance against Rafa in hot weather.

nadline , 4/29/13 12:38 PM

I doubt Almagro would have had a chance against Rafa in whatever weather! However, he has a point: the heavy conditions did affect his one strike game because the ball did not travel as fast because of the moist conditions. Almagro cannot defend so without those aces and winners, he is/was a sitting duck. Rafa can play one strike tennis but he can also defend.

The commies mentioned that initially, Almagro wanted to go back into the locker room once it started raining, Rafa wanted to stay and continue. Obviously they both knew the drizzle was a game changer...........

rafaisthebest , 4/29/13 1:02 PM

I was a bit surprised that Rafa wanted to stay and play in the rain after how disgusted he was at RG when they made them play in the rain. He's probably practiced to handle wet conditions. If that's the case, it will stand him in good stead going forward.

nadline , 4/29/13 1:51 PM

All is well in Rafa's camp :D
What's his next tourney?

Shireling , 4/29/13 1:51 PM

Just heard a radio interview to Rafa it's Madrid, Rome and RG
During the interview he said that sometimes it's very difficult to go and train when you don't see an immediate result and if it weren't for the support he gets from everybody it would be much more difficult.
He also answered that his kness are still bothering him but that he's happy that they are allowing him to compete

Shireling , 4/29/13 2:27 PM

hmm...As long as he is able to compete to the best of his abilities, its fine.

atul1985 , 4/29/13 3:01 PM

Rafa complained last year at the RG final not because they made them play in light rain but in heavy rain while the clay was becoming mud. The conditions were ridicilous at that point... conditions in which game would normally be aborted before they reached that stage. This can be no more than an opinion, having no proof, but it seemed that the organizers felt these ridiculous conditions might give his opponent (Novak) more of a chance for the upset of the clay decade. I have never seen the organizer of RG treat Rafa preferrentially in all the years he has brought such an amazing spotlight on this particular slam, years during which you'd think they would show at least a measure of grace to the player who always behaves graciously no matter how he is being treated. Had Rafa not complained about being made to play with absolutely soggy balls on clay that had nearly the consistency of mud, he would be abnormal.

chlorostoma , 4/29/13 3:20 PM

Previously, Rafa has also said cold climatic conditions make his knees stiffen up so there are a whole host of reasons Rafa was born in Mallorca, he is a sun child. Why doesn't God take away Rafa's knee problems and give them to the haters? That should shut them up for good. Rafa is too nice a person to suffer so...

rafaisthebest , 4/29/13 4:45 PM


You made the point that I was going to make about the players continuing even in a heavy rain at RG last year. Those conditions were outrageous. It's one thing to play on in a light drizzle or rain, but at RG last year the balls became soggy and slippery and the court conditions were dreadful.

I don't believe in conspiracy theories as a rule, but one has to wonder why the organizers would have allowed the players to continue in such dreadful conditions.

On the tennis channel, the commentators did point out that when the light rain started, Almagro wanted to stop but Rafa wanted to continue. I don't think Almagro was going to beat Rafa no matter what the conditions. He can think whatever he wants, but Rafa beat him at Acapulco in much better conditions.

I think Rafa can handle a light rain, but playing in a downpour like at RG last year was something else entirely.

Nativenewyorker , 4/29/13 6:36 PM

Sorry, I can't find a Federer thread for this:

Evidence of Federer's arrogance.

Basel tournament director: Federer refused our offer

Basel tournament director Roger Brennwald discusses his event's relationship with Roger Federer, and says the two sides have yet to reach an agreement on his appearance fee for the October tournament.

Former Basel ball boy Federer has played his hometown tournament 13 times and won it five times, but his contract with the event expired after last year. While Federer recently said he intends to play Basel even without a contract, there has been discord on both sides. The tournament just announced it has signed Rafael Nadal to play this year.

"Roger has always [been our] top priority,? Brennwald told the Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger. ?We have launched campaigns in the millions for him and allowed him to promote his sponsors, which is not very common. We are grateful for the time we were allowed to have with him. The thing is very simple: We have made an offer to him, which he refused. We have submitted a second offer, which he has not responded to. We do not normally pay a seven-figure [appearance fee].?

Brennwald also complained that he is unable to speak with Federer directly and always has to go through his agent Tony Godsick.

?We actually speak the same language, but with Godsick it's not fun," he said. "I've never seen anything like it. I can contact Djokovic or Murray if I want. I have spoken personally with Nadal. But with Roger it?s not possible.?

nadline , 4/30/13 9:19 AM

Well he's not The Mighty Federer for nothing....................

ed251137 , 4/30/13 11:57 AM

Now even his own home town get to see the REAL Fed, a shameless, self-centered money grubber. I see a Fed career as a Banker after tennis, he would fit right in.

Rafa would play Barcelona for free if need be.....

rafaisthebest , 4/30/13 12:14 PM

Maybe he doesn't like the fact that they've signed up Rafa.

Frankly, with Rafa there they don't need Federer.

nadline , 4/30/13 12:41 PM

He more likely doesn't want the humiliation of being beaten by a mere clay court specialist in his home town...... lol. He's already been beaten by Del Potro and Djokovic at this tournament.

ed251137 , 4/30/13 5:36 PM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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