Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell—Barcelona, Spain
No. 3 seed Rafa Nadal continued his glorious start to the clay-court season on Sunday, capturing his 10th Barcelona Open title over Dominic Thiem, 6-4, 6-1. Winning his 71st title overall and 51st on clay, the Spaniard broke his Austrian opponent’s serve in the 10th game of the first set and never looked back. Fighting through the heavy conditions with his spin oriented game, Nadal struck one ace, won 72 percent of his second serve points and broke serve on three occasions.
Nadal will now take next week off before returning to action at the Madrid Masters in Spain.
Thiem, who was in search of his ninth career title, defeated top seed Andy Murray in the semifinals. The 23-year-old has a great year on Tour, which has included a title in Rio and 22 singles victories to 10 losses.
Gazprom Hungarian Open—Budapest, Hungary
Top seed Lucas Pouille claimed his second career title in Budapest, Hungary on Sunday, dismissing Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 6-1. In a match that took 64 minutes to complete, Pouille broke Bedene’s serve on five occasions, while adding five aces to his impressive performance.
Breaking out on Tour last year with quarterfinal finishes at both Wimbledon and the US Open, Pouille is currently ranked No. 14 in the world. The Frenchman improved to 17-8 in 2017 and continued his fine form in recent weeks. The 23-year-old also made the semifinals of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters.
To his credit, Bedene has enjoyed a rich-vein of form on Tour himself. The 27-year-old most recently won two-straight Challenger titles before reaching the finals in Budapest. He will next see action in Istanbul, Turkey, where he could face top seed Milos Raonic in second-round action.
Nadal rocks on clay and the French Open will be his in 2017 …. http://www.138mph.com/clay-is-for-the-bull/