Rafael Nadal seals sixth Barcelona Open crown

Rafael Nadal
Nadal became the first player in the Open era to win two tournaments six or more times

World number one Rafael Nadal picked up his sixth Barcelona Open title with a 6-2 6-4 victory over his fellow Spaniard David Ferrer.

In a repeat of last week's Monte Carlos Masters final, Nadal looked a class apart as he raced through the opener.

Ferrer established a 4-2 lead in the second set but Nadal hit back with four straight games to take the match.

Nadal, 24, is now unbeaten on clay in 34 matches and looks primed for a sixth French Open title in June.

Nadal won the Barcelona Open five years in a row - beating Ferrer in the 2008 and 2009 finals - before skipping the tournament in 2010 because of a knee injury.

"It's incredible to come back here to my tournament and my fans after not being able to play last year," said Nadal.

David Ferrer
Ferrer has now lost to Nadal three times in the Barcelona Open final

"I am very, very happy for the win and sorry for David, who is having a fantastic year and deserves a title. It's bad luck for him having to play me in three finals but it's my sixth title here and it's a huge delight."

Facing the same opponent he overcame 6-4 7-5 to take the Monte Carlo title seven days earlier, Nadal broke in the third and fifth games of the first set to take a 4-1 lead before Ferrer broke back.

But the world number six could not consolidate, losing his own serve to 15 before Nadal served out to take the set.

Ferrer improved in the second set, attacking the net with greater regularity and winning four games in succession to take a 4-2 lead.

Nadal broke back to trail 4-3 and held his serve in an epic eighth game.

With Ferrer visibly starting to feel the effects of a calf injury, Nadal stormed through the next two games to regain the title with the 501st victory of his career.

"He served very well in the first set," said Ferrer. "In the second set we broke each other a lot but I think he played better than me.

"I had a chance at 4-2 up, but I didn't serve well in the important moments."

Nadal became the first player to win two tournaments six or more times - he has won Monte Carlo seven times - in the tour's Open era.

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