Sports

Nishikori completes successful Barcelona title defense

Barcelona, Spain (SportsNetwork.com) - Kei Nishikori topped Pablo Andujar in the final of the Barcelona Open on Sunday to win the title for a second consecutive year.

The top-seeded Nishikori earned a 6-4, 6-4 victory for his ninth career title and second this year. He beat Kevin Anderson for the Memphis crown back in February and also lost to David Ferrer in the Acapulco final two weeks later.

Nishikori could have faced Ferrer again this week, but Andujar upended his fellow Spaniard in the semifinals on Saturday to reach his seventh career final.

After Nishikori broke serve to capture the first set on Sunday, he quickly fell behind in the second. Andujar opened the second set with a break and built a 4-2 lead before the Japanese native stormed back and won the final four games.

"I'm really happy I'm able to defend the title," said Nishikori. "I think the second set was extremely tough and I don't really know how I won it to be honest."

Nishikori dropped only one set in five matches this week and joined Rafael Nadal, Thomas Muster, Mats Wilander, Ivan Lendl, Ilie Nastase and Andres Gomez as players to win back-to-back Barcelona titles in the Open Era.

Andujar fell to 3-4 in ATP finals. He hadn't been past the second round in any of his first nine events this year, including six first-round exits.