Barcelona Banc Sabadell Open Final
Nishikori Lifts First Clay Court Trophy, Defeats Giraldo in Final
atpworldtour.com: April 27, 2014 Barcelona, Spain - Kei Nishikori won his first clay-court title on the ATP World Tour on Sunday, outlasting Santiago Giraldo 6-2, 6-2 in the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell final.
Nishikori fired two aces, rifling 19 winners and saving one of two break point opportunities for the victory, giving him his fifth tour-level crown and second of the year, having won on the indoor hard courts of Memphis (d. Karlovic).
It was the Japanese’s third different title at the ATP World Tour 500 level, following a win on home soil in Tokyo in 2012 (d. Raonic) and in Memphis last year (d. Lopez). The 24 year old was also competing in his second final on clay, after falling to Ryan Sweeting in Houston three years ago.
Nishikori extended his FedEx ATP Head2Head advantage over Giraldo to 5-1 with the win, having most recently defeated the Colombian in straight sets at the BNP Paribas Open last month.
The fourth-seed sprinted to an early lead in the battle of Bradenton, Florida residents, clinching the first set in just 36 minutes after breaking Giraldo in three of his four service games. Patrons at the Real Club de Barcelona-1899, the oldest Spanish tennis club, were brought to their feet as Nishikori continued his surge in the second set, breaking immediately and cruising from there.
The Michael Chang and Dante Bottini pupil earns €422,100 and 500 Emirates ATP Rankings points, ascending five spots to No. 12 in the world, one shy of his career-high ranking. Giraldo takes home €192,450 and 300 Emirates ATP Rankings points for his efforts.
Nishikori’s title marks the first by a non-Spaniard in Barcelona in 12 years, since Argentine Gaston Gaudio prevailed in 2002. Rafael Nadal (2005-‘09, ‘11-13), Fernando Verdasco (2010), Tommy Robredo (2004) and Carlos Moya (2003) had triumphed on home soil in that span. The final was also the first to not feature a Spaniard since 1996
Barcelona Open Men's Singles Final Sunday Apr 27
4-Kei Nishikori beat Santiago Giraldo 6-2 6-2