Spanish Armada Capture ATP Titles
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
Rafael Nadal dispatched Kei Nishikori 6-4 7-5 to once again win the title in Barcelona. The Spanish #1 is in great form having returned to red clay, and he’s proving himself as a resilient star on the ATP tour. The top seed beat Marcel Granollers, Albert Montanes, Fabio Fognini, and Philipp Kohlschreiber, along with Nishikori without dropping a set this week, and he’s playing like a buzzsaw on the clay.
Nishikori reached his second straight final with wins over Thiemo De Bakker, Jeremy Chardy, Alexandr Dolgopolov, and Benoit Paire, all without dropping a set. He’s been great in Barcelona, and has 19 wins compared to four losses on clay over the last two seasons.
The Bryan brothers beat Pablo Cuevas and Marcel Granollers for the doubles title, a big win for the veteran team.
Fernando Verdasco won his first ATP title in two years with a Monday victory in Bucharest over Lucas Pouille. Pouille was playing in his first career ATP final after defeating Dusan Lajovic, Ivo Karlovic, Paolo Lorenzi, and Federico Delbonis. He beat Lorenzi after dropping the first set.
Verdasco struggled for a win against Aldin Setkic, but found momentum to defeat Radu Albot, Robin Haase, and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez to reach the final. He’s back into the top 60, and could use more wins to get his game back to a Grand Slam level .