Nadal gets his 400th win on clay

BARCELONA • Greek teenager Stefanos Tsitsipas continued his charmed run at the Barcelona Open, defeating fifth seed Pablo Carreno Busta 7-5, 6-3 in the semi-finals yesterday.

And he could not have asked for a bigger test in his first ATP final today. The reward for the 19-year-old, the world No. 63, is a match-up with top-ranked Rafael Nadal. The 10-time champion beat David Goffin 6-4, 6-0 later yesterday to record his 400th win on clay.

Tsitsipas is the youngest Barcelona finalist since Nadal (18) in 2005. The last Greek to make an ATP final was Nicholas Kalogeropoulos in Des Moines back in 1973.

Yet to drop a set this week, Tsitsipas served five aces and won 78 per cent of first serves to see off Carreno Busta in 95 minutes.

"I couldn't enjoy (today's match) more," he said. "And when you enjoy the results come in the end."

Win or lose today, he will become the first Greek to break into the top 50 when the latest men's rankings are released tomorrow.

The fast-rising player stunned third-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem on Friday 6-3, 6-2 for his second win over a top 10 player - Thiem is ranked seventh - following victory over Goffin during his best previous run, to the semi-finals in Antwerp last October.

Before this season, Tsitsipas had just four match wins on the ATP Tour.



Final: StarHub Ch201, 10pm

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 29, 2018, with the headline 'Nadal gets his 400th win on clay'. Print Edition | Subscribe