After the suspension of the 2020 edition due to the coronavirus, Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell-68th Conde de Godó Trophy He returned to the RCTB tracks last week under the relevant security protocols and a limited capacity of 1,000 spectators per day.
The tournament dispute was the first success in a social context still conditioned by the pandemic and, once underway, the tennis players responded with a high note on the clay of the Barcelona club, especially Rafael Nadal, able to evolve during the week until reaching a level sufficient to lift the trophy for the 12th time in his career.
10 / Rafa Nadal, the faith of the champion
The Balearic player arrived in Barcelona restless due to his game and defeat in the quarterfinals of the Monte Carlo Masters 1,000 against Russian Andrey Rublev, but he put on his overalls from day one to improve his feelings on the court. He dropped a set against Ivashka and Nishikori, continued shooting against Norrie and Carreño and won an epic final of 3h.38 ‘against “the best Tsitsipas” that Nadal had seen in his career. Rafa, who even saved a ‘match-ball’ against him, gave another lesson in suffering and improvement.
9 / Stefanos Tsitsipas, No. 1 of the year
The Greek was planted in the final like a rocket, playing the best tennis of the week and dispatching all his rivals with authority, Munar, De Miñaur, Auger and Sinner, who are not exactly hand-held. Counting his Monte Carlo title, Tsitsipas had nine wins and 17 sets won in a row, but Nadal’s epic in the final deprived him of his first ATP 500 title.
He was ‘break’ up in the first two sets, saved two match points in the second and he had one in the third. The reproach could be made that he missed a great opportunity, but he had Nadal in front of him. “Rafa hates losing more than anyone. I have learned that a match does not end until the last point ”, said the Greek, who is first in the Race, the ranking of the current year, and together with Rublev is the leader in number of wins (26).
8 / Jannik Sinner, the impudence of youth
The Italian continued his unstoppable climb in Barcelona and, at only 19 years old, there is already a certain unanimity that he is a tennis player who will consolidate for years among the best in the world. Sinner defeated two figures like Bautista and Rublev with great determination and only the inspiration of Tsitsipas stopped him in the semifinals. He has taken another step in the ranking: he is already No. 18 and rising.
7 / Pablo Carreño, the silent solidity
Marked like his entire generation by the successes of Nadal, Pablo Carreño represents the silent solidity of those players who are always competitive and capable of scaring anyone, especially on gravel. Without making a sound, the Spaniard reached the semifinals after coming back from an adverse 2-5 in the third set against Diego Schwartzman, one of the four world top-10 players present at Godó’2021. Nadal, already with his more refined game, separated him from his first final in Barcelona.