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Rediff.com  » Sports » Nadal wins in Barcelona to close on Vilas record

Nadal wins in Barcelona to close on Vilas record

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April 30, 2006 23:01 IST

Rafael Nadal outmuscled Tommy Robredo 6-4, 6-4, 6-0 to win the Barcelona Open on Sunday for his 47th consecutive claycourt win.

The Spaniard now moves ahead of Bjorn Borg into second place in the Open Era list of consecutive wins on the surface.

After two well-contested sets, Nadal cruised through the third to complete a successful title defence in two hours, 19 minutes for his third tournament win of the year and the 15th of his career.

Nadal is now just six wins behind the record holder, Argentine Guillermo Vilas, who set his mark in 1977.

The 19-year-old Spaniard's last loss on the surface was to Russian Igor Andreev in April 2005.

Nadal broke serve in the third game of the match and after saving two break points in the eighth game, held again two games later to take the opening set.

Sixth seed Robredo tried to take the attack to his younger compatriot, attacking the Nadal backhand with some success but a huge Nadal forehand gave him the chance to serve for the opening set at 5-4.

Robredo showed great spirit to save two set points before forcing a break point of his own, but an errant backhand gave Nadal the reprieve and he held on to move ahead by two sets to love.

Once the top seed had broken serve again in the opening game of the third set, the fight drained out of Robredo and Nadal ripped through the next five games to clinch victory.

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