BARCELONA, Spain — Rafael Nadal beat David Ferrer 6-2, 6-4 in their second all-Spanish final in two weeks to claim his sixth Barcelona Open title Sunday.
The top-ranked Spaniard won his 29th straight match at the clay court event when the fourth-seeded Ferrer hit his backhand wide.
“It is a dream for me to win here six times,” said Nadal, whose sole loss at Barcelona came against another countryman, Alex Corretja, in 2003. “I think it will be difficult to repeat. Six years is a long time in the life of a tennis player.”
It was Nadal’s 45th career ATP title and his second consecutive trophy after beating Ferrer at Monte Carlo in straight sets April 17.
Nadal won at Barcelona from 2005-09, including finals victories over Ferrer in 2008 and 2009, before sitting out last year’s edition to rest.
“I feel bad for David because no one deserves to win here more than him for what it means to him and the work he has put in to reach three finals,” Nadal said after improving his career record against Ferrer to 13-5, including a 5-0 record in finals.
Nadal has beaten Ferrer 10 straight times on clay since losing to him in 2004. Ferrer has played in four finals this year, winning two and finishing as runner-up to Nadal twice.
The 24-year-old Nadal became the first player to win two tournaments six or more times – he has won Monte Carlo seven times – in the tour’s Open era.
His 31st clay court title also moved him into third place all time. The last time he lost on his preferred surface was to Robin Soderling at the 2009 French Open.
“I think my first set today was my best of the season,” Nadal said. “My forehand was also better today. Last week I felt like I wasn’t causing enough pain for my opponents with my forehand, but today I could change its direction and send it down the line.”
Both players struggled to hold their serve in a match that saw six breaks for Nadal and three for Ferrer.
“He served better in the first set, but we both struggled with our serves and there were a lot of breaks,” Ferrer said. “We have both had better days.”
Nadal hit one of his patented left-hand drives into the corner to break Ferrer in the first game of the second set, but Ferrer began to show some of the fight from Monte Carlo when he tested Nadal before falling 6-4, 7-5.
The second-highest-ranked Spanish player saved a break point to hold in the third game and broke Nadal’s serve when he forced Nadal to return long in the fourth, pulling even at 2-2.
As Ferrer reduced his errors, Nadal’s volleys started to drift wide and he was broken for a second straight game when Ferrer’s forehand winner gave him a 4-2 lead.
But Nadal responded, swatting Ferrer’s drop shot to break him in the seventh game, and he broke his opponent again in his next service game to regain the lead for good when Ferrer’s cross shot landed wide.
“I don’t know why, but I wasn’t able to keep up the rhythm of play,” Ferrer said. “I didn’t serve well in the second set at this important moment when maybe I had a chance.”