Nadal Happy With Barcelona Title, but Believes He Has Room to Improve Clay Game

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday April 25, 2021

Rafael Nadal claimed his 61st clay-court title on Sunday, and his 12th in Barcelona, 6-4, 6-7(6), 7-5, over Stefanos Tsitsipas. It was a special moment for the 34-year-old Spaniard, but despite the victory, which was Nadal’s 87th ATP title, the King of Clay says he still has plenty of room for improvement on the clay.

“Well it’s important for me of course, it’s important for my confidence,” he told reporters, adding: “I think I have been able to play better and better during the whole week, every single match and today was a little bit better than yesterday, and I think I have room to keep improving. I mean, it was not perfect, I really believe that I can play better than what I am doing on clay, and I really hope that the victory of today is going to help me to raise a little bit of the level that I need today to fight for the next couple of events that I am going play.”

Nadal, who finishes the week with a remarkable 66-4 lifetime record at the Barcelona Open, says he is eager to continue progressing at the Madrid Open, which will begin next week. Nadal owns a 52-12 record at Madrid with five titles, with his last title coming in 2017.

He said Madrid is the place where he gets the biggest support from home fans, and he is looking forward to playing in that atmosphere at this year’s event. Reportedly the tournament will be played with attendance capped at 40 percent capacity.

“I am super happy to be where I am today, it’s an important achievement for me, and an important achievement at the right moment of the season,” he said. “Another week is coming, playing at home in Madrid, next week, or a week after, and I am excited about that, it’s a tournament that has been so important in my career, with probably the best support of the crowd ever, and I am excited to be back in Madrid and hopefully with some crowd, that’s gonna help.”