Rafael Nadal takes Stuttgart Open title after convincing win over Viktor Troicki
Last Updated: 15/06/15 4:02pm
Rafael Nadal claimed the Stuttgart Open title with an impressive straight sets win over Viktor Troicki.
The Spaniard has shown signs of his usual dominance since switching to grass this week and he continued his Wimbledon preparations with a 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 victory over Troicki in Germany.
A worrying slump of form has seen Nadal slip to No 10 in the world rankings and his lengthy reign at the French Open was ended by a quarter-final defeat by Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros.
But he will have drawn plenty of confidence from securing only his second ATP title this year, with Troicki unable to put a dent in the top seed’s serve.
Troicki himself had yielded just three points on his own service games in the first set, but was edged out in the tie-breaker as Nadal took a 1-0 lead with a searing ace.
Into the second set, Nadal tightened his grip on the match when Troicki gifted a break with an over-hit forehand.
This breakthrough was all that Nadal needed and he claimed the trophy for a third time after a fierce overhead smash.
The two-time Wimbledon champion ended a barren run on the surface, but insisted he was not looking too far ahead to this year's tournament at the All England Club.
Nadal said: "Since 2011, I didn’t play a final on grass, so finally to win a title again after five years on grass is very good news for my game, for my mentality too and at the same time is another title.
"At this point of the season for me, every victory is important, every title means a lot to me. This is not confidence for Wimbledon, this is an important victory for me and I’m happy for that today."