Rafael Nadal won the Barcelona Open for the eighth time Sunday, defeating Nicolas Almagro 6-4, 6-3 for his fourth title of the year.
This latest victory, with next month's French Open approaching, is a promising sign that Nadal is getting back to full strength from a knee injury that sidelined him since last summer
''I am very happy,'' he said. ''It has been an important week for me to win here again and a great source of joy after everything I have been through.''
After trailing 3-0 in the first set, Nadal found his form and broke his fellow Spaniard in three of his next four service games to take command in a final played in a drizzle.
He has made six straight finals since returning from his knee injury. This title, the 54th of his career, comes one week after his eight-year reign at Monte Carlo ended with a loss to top-ranked Novak Djokovic.
Nadal won the Barcelona Open from 2005-09 but did not play in 2010 because of a knee injury. He has won every year since. He has won 39...