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Kei Nishikori wins Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell 2014

The Japanese tennis player wins his first Godó Trophy in the 62nd edition of the tournament. Kei Nishikori, ranked 17th in the world, clinched his first clay court title after beating Columbian sensation Santiago Giraldo in straight sets and ascending five spots on the ATP rankings at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. After just an hour and thirteen minutes of play the fourth seed defeated his opponent 6-2, 6-2, becoming the first Japanese player to win the title. The Asian no. 1 becomes the first non-Spanish tennis player to lift the trophy in twelve years. A surprising turn of events saw several high profile players exit early in both the Men’s Singles and Doubles Championship. The Men’s Doubles surprised the crowd as Dutchman Jesse Huta Galung and French player Stéphane Robert paired up on Friday amazingly clinched their first title.

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29 April 2014 01:49 PM

by

Anders Ballegaard

Barcelona (CNA).- Kei Nishikori, ranked 17th in the world, clinched his first clay court title after beating Columbian sensation Santiago Giraldo in straight sets and ascending five spots on the ATP rankings at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, which is known as the Godó Trophy. After just an hour and thirteen minutes of play the fourth seed defeated his opponent 6-2, 6-2, becoming the first Japanese player to win the title. Thanks to his second title of the season the Asian no. 1 becomes the first non-Spanish tennis player to lift the trophy in twelve years. A surprising turn of events saw several high profile players exit early in both the Men’s Singles and Doubles Championship. The world no. 1 Rafa Nadal lost in a quarter-final and David Ferrer got eliminated in his first match. The Men’s Doubles surprised the crowd as Dutchman Jesse Huta Galung and French player Stéphane Robert paired up on Friday and despite recent injuries amazingly clinched their first title.


Kei Nishikori was delighted to win the fifth ATP title of his career on the red clay surface at Reial Club de Tennis Barcelona. The Japanese player dominated the final and quickly saw off the challenge of world no. 65 Columbian Santiago Giraldo. The fourth seed was able to handle the pressure and came away with a convincing victory after hitting a total of 19 winners during the final and thereby winning his first title on European soil. His opponent Santiago Giraldo reached the second final of his career on clay, but was no match for the new champion.

The Columbian player surprised many with impressive displays throughout the tournament especially in his semi-final win over Nicolas Almagro. Giraldo was fortunate against higher ranked players such as his second round match against local resident Italian Fabio Fognini who was seeded 3rd and the quarterfinal against 10th seed German Philipp Kohlschreiber. While both players had to retire due to leg injuries, Giraldo had reason to be content with his performance achieving one of the biggest results of his career so far. The eventual winner was astounded at the post match press conference stating “I am surprised about the win because Japanese players are usually not good on clay.” The 4th seed proved the opposite with convincing wins versus seeded players in the quarter- and semi-final beating both Marin Cilic and Ernests Gulbis in straight sets respectively. Although happy to win the new champion sympathetically stated “I felt a little bad that there was no Spaniard in the final, but I am still very happy about my win.”

Early exits for Catalan and Spanish players

Over the past four years, local fans have had the pleasure of all-Spanish finals, but this year’s the Conde de Godó Trophy evolved in a way very different than most expected. It is the first time since 1996 that no Spanish player has advanced all the way to the final. This came as a big surprise due to the large representation of quality Spanish players in this year’s event. David Ferrer was the first of the favourites to suffer a stunning defeat and disappoint the home crowd. The world no. 6 was touted as the main challenger for Rafael Nadal, but surprisingly lost his first match in Barcelona. The 2004 champion, local resident and club member Tommy Robredo was next to lose in an unexpected defeat. The biggest surprise of tournament, however, was undoubtedly the outcome of the quarter-final between Rafael Nadal and Nicolás Almagro. The world no. 1 has the best winning record in the history of the tournament after amassing a total of 41 consecutive wins and seeming unbeatable on the red clay courts in Pedralbes. World no. 20 Nicolás Almagro wanted to end this record and managed to beat the defending champion in three sets before losing his semi-final against Columbian runner-up Santiago Giraldo.

Lucky losers win the Men’s Doubles

The Doubles tournament in Barcelona turned out to be just as surprising as the singles championship, but the eventual champions lifted the trophy after overcoming fierce competition. Last year’s winners lost in the first round leaving the title up for grabs. Spanish favourites David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco also lost to the winning pair. One of the partnerships duly retired because of injury leaving a spot open for the unknown doubles team of Dutchman Jesse Huta Galung and Frenchman Stéphane Robert. Just before the tournament started they agreed to partner up and compete for the trophy, a wise decision it would seem as both players claimed their first career titles. They were in control of the final and defeated big favourites Canadian Daniel Nestor and Serbian Nenad Zimonji?, who claimed the Men’s Doubles title in 2009 and 2010. The newly crowned double champions have a remarkable story entering as alternates and ending up by lifting the trophy.

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  • Kei Nishikori lifting the 2014 Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell trophy (by Anders Ballegaard)

  • The trophy ceremony of the 2014 Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell (by Anders Ballegaard)

  • Rafa Nadal was eliminated in Quarters (by Anders Ballegaard)

  • Kei Nishikori lifting the 2014 Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell trophy (by Anders Ballegaard)
  • The trophy ceremony of the 2014 Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell (by Anders Ballegaard)
  • Rafa Nadal was eliminated in Quarters (by Anders Ballegaard)