Andy Murray loses out as Austrian lands a British hat-trick
- Author: Julie Sanders May 02, 2017,
May 02, 2017, 11:02
There was no let-up in the second set from Nadal, who broke the 23-year-old Austrian twice in a row before serving for the championship and wrapping up his 51st tournament win on clay.
The Spaniard also claimed his 10th title at the Monte Carlo Masters last week as he gears up for to go for his 10th French Open next month.
When Zeballos stuck a final forehand into net, Nadal was through to his fifth final of the season and 10th career title match in Barcelona.
The Austrian who had overcome world No. 1 Andy Murray on his way to the final, gave Nadal a stiff challenge for much of the first set, but the Spaniard stole the show after his first break and went on to take the opener 6-4.
Nadal will look to continue his success on clay at the upcoming French Open, where he will once again be bidding for his 10th title.
The opening stanza was a tight affair as Nadal only took it by breaking Thiem's serve when leading at 5-4.
Defending champion Nadal appeared to have a slight edge in the return game, and as the set wore on, he started to put more and more pressure on Thiem during the latter's serve games.
Despite the lopsided scoreline, Nadal faced stiff competition in the first set against Thiem in the final.
Eventually though, Nadal's dogged defense and clearer tactics got to Thiem, whose excellence on clay can be exposed by his tendency to "ball bash" and hit too hard rather than remain patient in constructing points. In the semi-finals he defeated Horacio Zeballos, 6-3, 6-4 to reach his 106th career final.
Nadal is now ranked no.5 in the world but should he defeat Thiem at the Barcelona Open and continue his impressive form for the rest of the year he can certainly do it.
Nadal, a nine-time champion on Barcelona's clay, said he "wasn't surprised" by Thiem's first win over Murray in three attempts.
Ramkumar battled past Italian qualifier Andrea Arnaboldi 6-2 5-7 6-4 in the semifinals of the $75,000 clay court event after two hours and 34 minutes. "So I definitely had a bit of a let-down", Sharapova said. "It is great to play in a final".
"I enjoyed it even though I lost and I really hope I can come back in the next years".