Kei Nishikori crushes Santiago Giraldo in final
Japan’s Kei Ni Omega Watches shikori won the first claycourt title of his career with a straight sets victory over Colombian Santiago Giraldo in the final of the Barcelona Open.
Nishikori, returning to action at this event after almost a month out with a groin injury, prevailed 6 2 6 2 in an hour and 13 minutes to become the first non Spaniard to win the tournament since 2002.
World No 65 Giraldo had knocked off three seeded players on the way to re Omega Watches aching the second final of his career but was let down by his serve during a one sided contest.
“It is not easy to win this title with all the Spanish players that play here. It is one of the most difficult ATP 500 tournaments and I am ver Omega Watches y happy to win.”
Nishikori, the fourth seed, broke three times while taking the first set and twice more in moving 5 1 ahead in the second before serving out the victory.
“I always love to come to Barcelona and it is a pleasure and honour to be here,” said world No 17 Nishikori, whose previous four ATP Tour titles all came on hardcourts, including in Memphis in February.
“Thank you to my team, Dante (Bottini) and Michael (Chang), and I hope I come back next year and defend this title.
“It is not easy to win this title with all the Spanish players that play here. It is one of the most difficult ATP 500 tournaments and I am very happy to win.”
ShockThe Barcelona Open had been Rafael Nadal’s personal fiefdom for most of the previous decade.
Nadal won it eight times in nine years he missed the 2010 edition but suffered a shock quarter final ex Omega Watches it to fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro, who was himself beaten by Giraldo in the last four.