Rafael Nadal wins first match on court named after him in Barcelona

by: Kamakshi Tandon | April 27, 2017

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Nadal is a nine-time champion in Barcelona. (AP)

Rafael Nadal played and won his first match on the court that has just been renamed for him, getting a straight-sets victory on Pista Rafa Nadal in Barcelona.

Organizers of the ATP event had recently announced that the largest court at the historic Real Club de Tenis Barcelona was officially being named for Spain's most successful tennis player. 

"To have the name, my name, in the center court in Barcelona is something that is very beautiful," Nadal said in Monte Carlo. "Just can say thanks very much to the club for this award."

The nine-time champion at the event added that the location makes the honor more special.

"Barcelona, the tournament is—for all the Spanish players—an amazing event," he said. "I think [it] is one of the top events on tour because is a historic event with a lot of tradition. A lot of years of the tournament, a lot of great players have been playing there. And it's in a real tennis club. 

"When you are playing in a place that they are not only in stadiums for two weeks, or for one week, is always [a] little bit more special. The place breathes tennis, no? That tradition makes the event, I think, a little bit more important ... That's why I think it's so important in our tour, to combine historic events and traditional events with great new shows and great new stadiums. That makes our sport bigger and bigger."

Organizers presented Nadal with a plaque on court following his win.

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