Rafael Nadal of Spain saved a championship point to beat Greece Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-7, 7-5 to claim a 12th Barcelona Open title on Sunday, April 25, 2021.
The Spaniard secured his first title of the year and 87th of his career, denying Tsitsipas back-to-back triumphs following his maiden Masters 1000 title at Monte Carlo last week.
Nadal avenged his Australian Open quarter-final loss to Tsitsipas and will return to second in the ATP rankings on Monday by climbing back above Daniil Medvedev after his marathon 3-hour 38-minute win.
Nadal again came from a break down in the second set after Tsitsipas had regrouped well.
That took him to the brink of victory on the court named after he but Tsitsipas showed his own mettle to stay in the contest, recovering from 15-40 at 4-5 with two fine points, including a lovely touch volley winner on the second.
A topsy-turvy tie-break saw Nadal lead 4-2 then save two set points from 4-6 only to serve a double fault at 6-6 that helped Tsitsipas clinch it.
The third set was serve dominated until 4-5 when Nadal wobbled on his own delivery, but ultimately it was the Spaniard who proved just the tougher.