Kei Nishikori successfully retains Barcelona Crown

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In a straightforward encounter, Kei Nishikori only needed straight sets to successfully complete his title defence campaign to become the only non-Spanish player to lift the Barcelona title on two separate occasions.

Nishikori, who played some solid tennis during the week, was faced with a Spanish opponent in the final, Pablo Andujar. While the local talent had the backing of the crowd and showcased a superb effort against the former US Open runner up, he was unable to stop decisive breaks in both sets, and eventually lost the match 6-4, 6-4.

“I’m really happy I’m able to defend the title,” said Nishikori. “I think the second set was extremely tough and I don’t really know how I won it to be honest. Pablo was very aggressive, he kept moving the ball and made me run up and down all the time. I also tried to be aggressive and I think that’s why I won the important points, but I’d say he played better than me.

“I think this victory on clay and in such a difficult tournament gives me a lot of confidence to face the upcoming competitions. It’s just an amazing feeling to win a title. I have to come back to Barcelona.”

Although Andujar had pulled off an impressive upset of David Ferrer in the previous round, he was unable to deny Nishikori a successful title defence. In the end, he fell to 3-4 in tournament finals.

“It was a great, high-quality final,” said Andujar. “We were both playing well. I played better in the second set and I felt I deserved something more, but what happened was I let some opportunities pass. I believe that I could have won but here we are. I feel I played my best tennis this week.”

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