Eight and great

Rafael Nadal ground down the resistance of Nicolas Almagro to seal his eighth Barcelona Open title, Miles Maclagan told Sky Sports.

Last Updated: 28/04/13 at 18:14 Post Comment

Nadal: Impressed again in Barcelona to take the title

Nadal: Impressed again in Barcelona to take the title

The king of clay racked up another tournament win with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over his fellow Spaniard on Sunday and appears to be in imperious form ahead of the approaching French Open.

And, as much as his shot-making and skill were as impressive as ever, Maclagan hailed Nadal's fighting spirit - which helped him come back from a break down in the first set - as a key component of his make-up.

"You do need to stop and think about it sometimes: he's had one loss at Roland Garos, one loss at Monte Carlo, one loss here - not in a week, in a career," said Andy Murray's former coach.

"The amount of battles Nadal's been through, the tough moments during that time - but he keeps finding the way. His heart is immeasurable and he's such a tough man to beat.

"Almagro has the firepower and he got off to a good start with the break - but once Nadal fought back and went a break up himself, as he has done all week, he just rolled with it."

Attack

Maclagan felt the rain delay midway through the first set may have played to Almagro's advantage, allowing him to perform in short, intense bursts but instead the weather cleared, Nadal put the pressure on and delivered a straight sets win.

However, the former Great Britain Davis Cup player, was critical of Almagro's repeated refusal to come forward when he had Nadal on the back foot.

"A lot of guys know what they have to do against Nadal on clay but doing it is different," he said. "You have to strike against the likes of Murray, Novak Djokovic and Nadal - players who move so well on the baseline.

"But we need a psychologist to explain why human nature is to not do things you know are going to help you and you know you are going to do. Almagro kept hesitating, knowing he should come in - and he stayed back."

Nadal appears to have put the injury problems that dogged his 2012 season behind him and Maclagan reckons he could even be challenging for the world number one spot come the end of the year.

"We haven't talked about Nadal as number one - but on this form he could be right in it at the end of the season," he said.

Catch the Madrid Open from midday on Monday, May 6, live on Sky Sports 3 HD

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

A

ll very well selling all midfield and strikers but unless we bring anyone in that is better than what we had then it will be a terrible transfer window in my view. Sorted out the defense but our midfield and striker options look very light.

bigo
Spurs Halfway To The Perfect Summer

L

ove it when Jose accuses others of being defensive, cynical and playing to win. If I was Wenger, I'd get that quote laminated and framed - surely the biggest compliment he's ever received from Mourinho. You've got him riled Arsene - you're relevant again!

suarez_blind
Jose rues pitch and weather after defeat

I

t's wrong to be making a joke out of Bender's name at the expense of gay people. It's the kind of childish, uncivilised thing that Football365 would deride and ridicule if it was another media outlet saying. Why is there a need for jokes like this? Does it make your writers feel like men? F365 might suggest that I 'lighten up', but it is genuinely traumatic for people who have been oppressed all their lives to be the butt of jokes, and to be told...

anamsport
The Beeriod Gossip

Footer 365

Everton duo John Stones and Kevin Mirallas picked up knocks on Sunday

Roberto Martinez has reminded Chelsea that Everton are a "big club with nine league titles" - and do not need to sell John Stones.

Arsenal 1 Chelsea 0: Gunners win Community Shield

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored as Arsenal won the Community Shield with a 1-0 victory over Chelsea, with Arsene Wenger finally beating Jose Mourinho.

Coloccini wants to stay at Newcastle, says McClaren

Steve McClaren says Fabricio Coloccini wants to stay at Newcastle for the rest of his career, despite speculation over the captain's future.

Mail Box

Not Just A Friendly. This Had Meaning...

Arsenal fans are very excited about beating Chelsea (don't remind them about last year), while there is criticism for BT and a football fan tired of being screwed by TV...

Neville Has It Wrong On Chelsea...

One Mailboxer says that the Neviller has it slightly wrong on Chelsea. Plus thoughts on sexy Saints, pre-season reviews, Connor Wickham and televised analysis...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company