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Another European clay title for Rafael Nadal. This the first of the season for him. And the 27th Masters Tournament victory of his career at the Madrid Open.
European clay title in Madrid:
His opponent Kei Nishikori was forced to retire through injury. Before that, Nadal had won seven straight games to lead 3-0 in the third set. Then the match was halted having lost the first set 6-2. And then it came for a break down to win the second 6-4.
Previously Nishikori was struggling with a back spasm. In Saturday’s dramatic semifinal victory over David Ferrer, he was badly injured. But he couldn’t understand this can haunt back again on Sunday game time.
He must be disappointed after losing his first European clay title in such an unfortunate manner. But still the Japanese can take comfort from his performances this week. As this is bringing him to the world top 10 for the first time. Probably in the latest ranking of Monday.
At the clay court in Madrid, Nishikori out-played Nadal for a set and a half with some aggressive shots. Some of them were big winners for him too.
Probably the third set was an anti-climax. Rafael was easing ahead of his injured opponent before Nishikori decided he couldn’t continue any more of this game.
“I am very disappointed about what happened today in this final”
Said Nishikori after the match.
He acknowledged that the final was quite unfortunate for him. He tried his level best with being hurt. But after the game he congratulated Nadal as he believes that his opponent played too good. And so, Nadal was gracious in victory with the European clay title.
“Winning at home is always more special than winning anywhere. To play in front of your home crowd… is unforgettable for me”
Sharapova rebounds back:
She had previously lost the first four games of the match to the World No. 5. As a matter of fact she conceded the first set in less than half-an-hour.
The Russian turned things around as the game progressed. And now she wins seven of her last nine titles on a clay court.
The 27 year old, after the match said,
“Last year I lost in the finals and I really wanted to go one extra step this year.it has just been a fantastic week”
She believes that her opponent is now at another different level. It is clear from her come back from 64th position to number five in less than a year. So she is happy with the way she pulled it off.