Monday, March 25, 2019
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Nadal to take on Greek teenager Tsitsipas in Barcelona open final

Nadal will aim to win his 11th and record-breaking title in Barcelona, where he has never lost a final.

Rafael Nadal

After a comprehensive victory over Belgium's David Goffin on Saturday, Rafael Nadal will meet Greek teenager Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday's final in Barcelona.

Nadal will aim to win his 11th and record-breaking title in Catalonia, where he has never lost a final.

The clay-court specialist dominated with a 6-0, 6-4 victory over the 10th-ranked Goffin, and cruised into the finals to retain his number 1 ranking.

The Spaniard out struck Goffin, who held a 2-0 lead initially, after a slow start in the semi-final.

Nineteen-year-old Tsitsipas, who will play his first ATP final after defeating Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta 7-5, 6-3, is excited to be taking on the legendary Nadal.
The last Greek to make an ATP final was Nicholas Kalogeropoulos, in Des Moines back in 1973.

The teenager has also become one of the youngest players to reach the Barcelona final, only beaten by Nadal who was 18, in 2005.

The 63rd-ranked Tsitsipas broke Carreno Busta, 27, for a third time to pull out 4-2 ahead in the second and eventually served out the match, falling to the ground as he won on his second match point when the Spaniard hit beyond the baseline.

Scoring his 18th successive win and 400th overall on the surface, Nadal hopes to play at the highest level possible against the young player.

With a record of 400-35, Nadal has the best winning percentage and a world record of 54 titles to his name.

Earlier in the tournament, the young Tsitsipas himself marked an historic win in his career as he dominated the world number 7 Dominic Thiem in the quarterfinals - 6-3, 6-2 - on Friday, his 18th straight victory on a clay surface.

In the Sunday encounter, the Greek teenager is set to face the 31-year-old Nadal, who entered the tournament fresh from his 11th Monte Carlo title last weekend.

Be it a win or lose on Sunday, when the latest men’s rankings are released on Monday, Tsitsipas will become the first ever Greek player to make it into the table of world’s top 50 players.

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