BARCELONA, Spain – Rafael Nadal will face an ardent Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Barcelona Open final after the eleven-time champions overtook Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3, 6-2 on Saturday.
Nadal took a 5-1 lead before Carreno Busta took a break. Carreno Busta, who is from Spain like Nadal, had three break chances at Nadal’s next service game, but this saved them all and closed the set.
All thoughts of a Carreno Busta comeback were erased when Nadal broke his first set second service game in an intimidating manner. Carreno Busta believed he smashed the ball way out of Nadal’s reach, only the 20-time Grand Slam winner got into position and shot the ball right past him when Carreno Busta lost his footing and hit the sand .
The best occupied Nadal improved against the 13th Carreno Busta to an 8-0 career record.
The second-placed Tsitsipas beat Jannik Sinner 6: 3, 6: 3 for the eighth time in a row, including last week’s title run in Monte Carlo. The 26 wins of the Greeks this season are only achieved by Andrey Rublev on the men’s track.
Tsitsipas defeated Nadal in their last meeting in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in February when Tsitsipas caught up over four hours after falling two sets.
Nadal will try to stop Tsitsipas’ winning streak on Sunday.
Overall, Nadal holds a 6-2 head-to-head record with Tsitsipas, including a win in the 2018 Barcelona Open final.
“It feels great to be back [in the final]. I’ll try to break free from the last time, “said Tsitsipas.
The 34-year-old Nadal has won all eleven finals in Barcelona. He dominated the tournament in his home country from 2005-09, 2011-13 and 2016-18. He lost in the semifinals of 2019 against eventual champion Dominic Thiem. Last year the event did not take place due to the coronavirus pandemic.