Andy Murray beaten by Dominic Thiem in semi-finals of Barcelona Open

Rafael Nadal secured a second successive "decima" as he claimed a 10th title at the Barcelona Open with a straight-sets victory over Dominic Thiem on Sunday.

The world No. 5 continued his excellent start to the season on clay, after winning the Monte-Carlo Masters the week before, to add a second title to his 2017 collection.

The world number nine even had his only break point of the match in the first game.

Thiem lived with Nadal, just, through the rest of the set, though was himself in trouble in the sixth game when he fended off two break points.

"It's the first win over a World No. 1, so it's really something special", said Thiem who added it would "be a great honour to play Nadal". The 23-year-old never looked at ease while the 14-time Grand Slam champion, in contrast, grew in confidence with every shot. He converted two break points out of five and won the second 6-1 as he played at an intensity that Thiem simply could not live with.

It seemed miraculous last week when Rafael Nadal became the only player in Open Era history to win 10 titles at one tournament when he did it at Monte Carlo.

NRafael Nadal returned to the final by beating Horacio Zeballos of Argentina 6-3, 6-4 in the other semifinal at the Real Club de Tenis.

Nadal has won every semifinal he has played in the Barcelona Open, where he is chasing a 10th title.

"To get two matches in a row against two of the best players ever is big for my game".

Thiem was broken in the beginning of both sets but powered his way to victory against Sugita, who was coming off wins against Tommy Robredo, Richard Gasquet, and Pablo Carreno Busta.

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.

The third seed did not have it all his own way though against his Argentine opponent, having to save three break points in the first set on his way to winning it 6-3 with a single break of serve.

"I'm obviously exhausted, but that's why it was important for me to get matches, especially ones like today", Murray said.

  • Leroy Wright