Barcelona:Rafael Nadal needed to rally after losing his only set so far of the clay season, overcoming David Ferrer 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 to lift a fourth straight Barcelona Open title on Sunday.
The tight victory in two hours 14 minutes sends Spain's king of clay halfway down the road to duplicating a four-event winning streak from a year ago on his favourite surface.
Seven days after defeating Roger Federer to win Monte Carlo for a record-equalling fourth straight year, the three-time Roland Garros champion followed up with a popular home triumph in the Catalan capital.
Nadal improved his record at the Real club to 21-1, his lone loss coming in 2003. The victory came in his third all-Spanish final at the event, after beating Juan Carlos Ferrero and Tommy Robredo in a pair of previous editions.
The all-but-unstoppable Spaniard will head immediately into a third straight week of high-stakes dueling with a Rome title defence.
Nadal widened his margin atop the ATP with a leading 32 match victories and two titles.
His match with dogged retriever Ferrer - which could have easily turned into a baseline slug-fest - was dominated early by the top seed, with Nadal breaking three times in a 31-minute first set.
But Ferrer refused to roll over as he broke in the first game of the second to make a match of it.
Nadal went into fight back mode, salvaging four break points in a torrid seventh game, and broke to level at four games apiece.
That only inspired Ferrer, winner of the Valencia title last month, with the second seed re-breaking and serving out the set to bring on a deciding third.
Nadal put things right with an early break to sweep through with ease in the deciding set.
The Spanish powerhouse improved to 6-3 over his compatriot, whom he beat last week in Monte Carlo.