Cumberland Times-News

Local Sports

April 28, 2013

Nadal beats Almagro to win 8th Barcelona Open

BARCELONA, Spain — All those months of hard work and rehab are starting to pay off for Rafael Nadal. Yet he is still not sure what this means for the French Open.

Nadal won the Barcelona Open for the eighth time Sunday, defeating Nicolas Almagro 6-4, 6-3 for his fourth title of the year.

And with French Open about a month down the road, this latest victory is a promising sign that Nadal is getting back to full strength from a knee injury that sidelined him since last summer

“I am very happy,” he said. “It has been an important week for me to win here again and a great source of joy after everything I have been through.”

He has made six straight finals since returning from his knee injury. This title, the 54th of his career, comes one week after his eight-year reign at Monte Carlo ended with a loss to top-ranked Novak Djokovic.

“With just these six tournament since I have returned, I have managed to assure my place in the top 10 one more year, which is positive,” said Nadal, who is ranked No. 5. “These months of work have been worth it.”

Even so, Nadal was hesitant to say how this might carry over to Roland Garros, where he has won a record seven times.

“This win doesn’t mean much,” he said. “Just that I am in good form since I have come back. The results are fantastic. I would never have imagined them and they are better than I had dreamed. I am back playing at a high level.”

After trailing 3-0 in the first set, Nadal found his form and broke his fellow Spaniard in three of his next four service games to take command in a final played in a drizzle.

Nadal won the Barcelona Open from 2005-09 but did not play in 2010 because of a knee injury. He has won every year since. He has won 39 straight matches on the red clay at Real Club de Tenis, his last loss coming 10 years ago to Spain’s Davis Cup captain, Alex Corretja.

“I didn’t know in 2005 that I would win again or that in 2013 I would still be winning,” Nadal said.

Almaro, ranked 12th, has lost all 10 of his matches to Nadal. He enjoyed a good start Sunday and broke Nadal’s first service game with a forehand winner before holding serve to love.

Almagro kept Nadal moving with deep backhands. He broke again for a 3-0 lead following a long rally when he swatted a running crosscourt return. But Nadal then showed why he hasn’t lost in Barcelona in a decade, reeling off four straight games.

“It was important for me to get the break, down 3-0,” Nadal said. “Almagro is having a great season and I wish him the best.”

Almagro was serving and up 30-0 when he made a series of errors, including a double-fault that brought the score to three games apiece. Nadal took control by breaking Almagro a third time. Down 0-30, Nadal saved a point by returning a lob with a shot from between his legs before Almagro dropped the game and set.

In the second set, Nadal maintained the pressure and broke to lead 3-1. Nadal served out the match to love, and was soon applauding the fans who had cheered both players.

“He showed again why he is the best player in history on this surface,” Almagro said, adding he’ll try to win the title next year “if Rafa lets me.”

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • Angels Orioles Baseba_Land.jpg Orioles fall to Angels in 13 innings, 1-0

    Albert Pujols put Los Angeles in front with an RBI single, and the Angels held on for a 1-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles that averted a three-game sweep.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Post 13 eliminated, 5-4 Post 13 eliminated, 5-4

    Funkstown Post 211 used a three-run first inning and a pair of single-run innings, and limited the damage on Fort Cumberland Post 13’s 11 hits to notch a 5-4 victory to advance and eliminate the tournament host Thursday in the third round of the Maryland American Legion State Baseball Tournament at Hamilton Field.

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • Hold on a minute ... we know these guys

    Tom Bosley says this isn’t the Garrett County revival of “Space Cowboys”. They’re just getting the band back together — Bosley, Don Stemple, Oren Yoder and Matt Redinger. They’ve been there, done that, and they’re ready, willing and able to be there and do it again.

    July 31, 2014

  • Pee Wee football openings exist

    The following teams of the Tri-State Pee Wee Football League have openings for players, ages 6 and not yet 12: Cumberland Cardinals, contact Norm Spencer, 301-697-0420; Cumberland Raiders, contact Chad Hamilton, 240-362-1800; Cresaptown Eagles, contact Dave Freeman, 240-727-0302; LaVale Lions, contact Ken Ward, 301-616-4773, and Ridgeley Hawks, contact Grant Shoemaker, 301-697-7657.
    Players interested in playing for the Cardinals should report to Bowers Field Monday, Aug. 4, 6 p.m.

    July 31, 2014

  • Sports Calendar - 08/01/2014

    July 31, 2014

  • Manziel battling playbook, Hoyer in first NFL camp Manziel battling playbook, Hoyer in first NFL camp

    Johnny Manziel has quickly learned his college days — on the field anyway — are over.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Tennis star Wozniacki to run NYC Marathon Tennis star Wozniacki to run NYC Marathon

    Caroline Wozniacki always feels confident she can outrun her opponent on the tennis court.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ridgeley, Lakeview advance to finals

    POTOMAC PARK — Blake Rhodes doubled and singled twice while Wyatt Yates and Caleb Hare singled three times to power Ridgeley to a 14-4 victory over the Cumberland Kiwanis for a sweep of the Hot Stove League’s National League Championship Series Wednesday at Hamilton Field.

    July 31, 2014

  • Laurel’s Jake Snyder Laurel tops defending champs

    POTOMAC PARK — Falan Garner had three hits and chased home a pair of runs and Laurel held of a furious ninth-inning rally by Funkstown to beat the defending state champs 9-8 Wednesday afternoon at the Maryland American Legion Baseball State Tournament at Memorial Field.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • Sports Calendar - 07/31

    July 31, 2014