Wins at Monte Carlo, Barcelona long sought, says Nadal

Barcelona, April 25 (IANS) Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal has said wins at the recent Barcelona Open and Monte Carlo tennis tournaments were long sought by him.

Nadal defeated Japanese Kei Nishikori 6-4, 7-5 on Sunday to lift the Barcelona Open, his second consecutive win after Monte Carlo, reports Efe.

The Spaniard has now won his ninth Barcelona Open trophy and levelled Argentine legend Guillermo Vilas’ record of 49 clay-court titles.

“I have been working so hard to enjoy moments like this. The fact that I’m playing at home is always even more special. I’m very happy and I feel lucky to enjoy this again,” Nadal said on Sunday.

Asked whether he has returned to his best level after winning those two titles, Nadal said he never left the big stage, and noted that he tries his best at every tournament but there are good and bad times.

The 29-year-old added that he is holding the fifth place in the rankings, not the 25th. So, there is no need to be unnecessarily concerned.

Additionally, Nadal pointed out that his mindset is very different from the last season, during which he played “with anxiety”.

“When you play against players with such a high level, the match is often decided by a few moments. So, I feel happy that I handled all these important moments well mentally,” the Spaniard said.

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