Nadal has his way on clay, tops Canas in Barcelona final

Apr 29, 2007 - 5:33 PM BARCELONA, Spain (Ticker) -- Guillermo Canas has figured out Roger Federer this season. However, he and the rest of the men's tour are still puzzled by Rafael Nadal.

The world's best player on clay - and one of the best on any surface - Nadal picked up his 20th career ATP title with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Canas in Sunday's final of the $1.16 million Open Seat Godo.

The top-seeded Nadal did not drop a set in the tournament and improved to 15-0 in finals on clay. He also extended his winning streak on clay to a staggering 72 matches, again showing he will clearly be the man to beat at next month's French Open.

Nadal has not lost on clay since falling to Russia's Igor Andreev in the quarterfinals of the 2005 Valencia Open. He joined Mats Wilander (1982-84) as the only players to win this event three times.

Canas came in with the credentials to stop Nadal's dominance, having topped Federer in back-to-back Masters Series hardcourt events at Indian Wells and Miami. Canas returned from a 15-month suspension in September and won earlier this year at Costa del Sauipe, Brazil.

The 12th seed, Canas put the pressure on Nadal early, forcing the Spaniard to save a pair of break points in the opening game. The first four games took 23 minutes.

But Nadal never faced a break point the rest of the way and broke Canas once in each set to improve to 3-0 in the all-time series.

It was just last month that Nadal snapped an eight-month title drought at Indian Wells. He has won three of his last four tournaments, including a hardcourt event.






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