Johannesburg: Spanish tennis maestro Rafael Nadal has equaled Argentine legend Guillermo Vilas’ record of 49 clay-court titles after beating defending champion Kei Nishikori in straight-sets in the Barcelona Open final.
The 29-year-old top-seeded outclassed his Japanese compatriot 6-4, 7-5 in two hours and four minutes to clinch his ninth Barcelona Open title.
The match saw second-seed Nishikori start brightly before producing an error-strewn game to bow down before the Spaniard.
Commenting on his performance, Nadal insisted he served really well in the first set, saying the good percentage of first serves allowed him to play better in the rest of the match, Sport24 reported.
Meanwhile, Nishikori, whose 14-match winning streak in Barcelona came to an end, vowed to make a strong comeback next year.
Nadal has now claimed victory in his opening 10 matches of the European clay-court season ahead of his quest to clinch 10th French Open title in June.
He had earlier equalized the record of 28th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown and brought himself back alongside top-ranked Novak Djokovic at the Monte Carlo Masters. (ANI)