BARCELONA (Reuters) - Kei Nishikori claimed his fifth career title as he became the first Japanese to win the Barcelona Open on Sunday with a 6-2 6-2 victory over Santiago Giraldo.
Nishikori dropped his opening service game against Giraldo, who was facing the biggest match of his career, but quickly found his rhythm and broke back with the Colombian losing his serve on a double fault.
Giraldo was hitting the ball well but Nishikori showed his superiority from the base line as he invariably won the longer rallies and broke twice more to take first set comfortably.
A demoralised Giraldo immediately went 2-0 down in the next set and was unable to find the winning shots that had seen him knock out Nicolas Almagro in the semi-finals. There was no mercy from Nishikori who broke twice more on his way to victory.
(Editing by Brian Homewood)