BARCELONA: Rafael Nadal defeated Guillermo Canas 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday to become only the second player to win a third straight Open Seat Godo in its 55-year history. Mats Wilander was the first, from 1982-84.
``To win another final at my home club is a great feeling,'' second-ranked Nadal said. ``When I won the first it was like a dream, so to win it for a third time is an amazing feeling.''
It was the 20th career ATP title for Nadal, who has won his last 12 clay tournaments, and an Open era record 72 singles on clay over more than two years. He hasn't dropped a set on dirt since top-ranked Roger Federer won the first set in the final at Roland Garros last year.
Until he won the Indian Wells Masters in March, Nadal hadn't won a title in eight months. Now he's won three of his last four events.
``I've had some difficult moments like when I went eight months without winning a tournament,'' Nadal said. ``Since Dubai (in March) I made a change in my game and the victory at Indian Wells was really important for my confidence.''
Paul-Henri Mathieu of France beat Albert Montanes of Spain 6-1, 6-1 to win the Grand Prix Hassan II and end a five-year wait for his third career title. ``It's great to get off to a good start in the clay court season and I hope that I'll keep on playing well in the upcoming weeks,'' Mathieu said.