Rafael Nadal beat Fabio Fognini in straight sets to win his 47th clay-court title with victory in the beat-at-home Open final in Hamburg.
Having lost his last two meetings with Fognini, world number 10 Nadal not only avenged those defeats but also maintained his run of winning at least one European clay-court title every year since 2004.
The 29-year-old has struggled with injuries and form in 2015 but was too strong for Fognini, even though the Italian started well and broke Nadal’s serve at the first time of asking in Sunday’s final before falling to a 7-5 7-5 loss.
Nadal, the top seed in Hamburg, responded and – following four breaks of serve – held to go 3-2 up and he claimed the opening set in 77 minutes.
Plenty more breaks of serve followed in the second set, with Fognini serving to level the match only for Nadal to save one set point and break to level at 5-5 before taking his first match-point chance and win the match.
The trophy ceremony proved the most difficult task of the day. During his victory speech, Nadal started to cramp and couldn’t do anything about it.
“This was a very important win for me, I hope to see you soon again and now I don’t know what to do but thank you very much everybody,” Nadal joked.