Japan's top #Tennis star Kei Nishikori was in commanding form yesterday to win the Barcelona Open. The top seed retained the title he had won twelve months before, defeating Spaniard Pablo Andujar in straight sets in the final. Andujar was an unexpected star of the tournament, beating the more fancied Fabio Fognini and compatriot David Ferrer along the way to his clash with Nishikori.

It was 25-year-old Nishikori's 9th title success on the ATP tour, but his 6-4 6-4 margin was not as straightforward as it might look at first sight. The Asian superstar had to survive a testing start to the final, as the clearly confident Andujar broke his serve.

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Nishikori is not number five (and likely to climb higher it seems) without good reason though and he rallied immediately to break back and began to assert his will on the match. The first set was soon his, despite his consistency not being as good as in many of his recent matches. Winners and errors were in equal measure, but the Japanese player just had the edge on the world number 66 player.

Set two proved to be a long battle on the clay court surface, with Andujar looking likely to take it until late into the set. The Spanish player again broke serve early on but this time maintained his advantage until the crucial eighth game, mixing his shots up expertly. Nishikori finally found a way to restore parity with a break of his own though to level at 4-4, as Andujar's resistance finally began to weaken.

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Two games later the match was over, as the higher seed broke once more.

Nishikori was delighted with his victory as he seeks to progress further up the rankings. With Rafael Nadal being a major casualty earlier in the tournament at the hands of Fognini, there seems to be a big opportunity for Nishikori to break into the top four and maybe even higher. With both the French Open and Wimbledon Grand Slams to come in the next few months, big ranking points will be on offer for the top players.

Andy Murray's older brother Jamie and his partner from Australia, John Peers battled well in the men's double final in the Spanish capital. Unfortunately for British tennis fans, they ultimately lost 3-6 7-6 9-11 to Henri Kontinen of Finland and Croatia's Marin Draganja.