Nadal fends off Ferrer to clinch 7th Barcelona crown

Updated: 2012-05-02 10:01


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Final straw

That appeared to be the final straw for Ferrer and Nadal reeled off the next three games, sealing victory with a backhand winner before leaping into the air to celebrate.

Nadal fends off Ferrer to clinch 7th Barcelona crown

Spain's Rafael Nadal acknowledges his fans after winning his final tennis match against compatriot David Ferrer at the Barcelona Open April 29, 2012. Nadal won the trophy for the seventh time. [Photo/Agencies]

"David always takes you to the limit and I really had some good fortune in that first set," he said.

"When you have five set points against you and you save all of them obviously there is a good deal of luck involved," he added. "It was something of a lottery but it came down on my side and I am sorry for him but very happy."

An exhausted-looking Ferrer, who has managed only four wins against Nadal in 18 meetings on all surfaces, paid tribute to his compatriot, with whom he now heads to the capital for the Madrid Open starting on Friday.

"Rafa is Rafa and he is very good," Ferrer told Spanish TV.

"I have lost four times to him here in the final now but I know I have lost to one of the greats," added the 30-year-old.

"He is a very good player and as a person even better."

Nadal made his ATP Tour debut at the Mallorca Open aged 15 on April 29, 2002, beating Paraguay's Ramon Delgado 6-4 6-4 in the first round.

He is now only six short of Thomas Muster (40) on the list of open era clay title winners, with Guillermo Vilas the overall leader (45).

The only players to have beaten him in a clay final are world number one Novak Djokovic and number three Roger Federer, who have both done it twice.