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King of Clay Reigns in Bastad; Bjorkman Obtains Record

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Rafael Nadal’s dominance on clay this year has been nothing short of masterful. The Spanish teen continued his assault on the record books when he outlasted Tomas Berdych 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the final of the Synsam Swedish Open on Sunday.

With the win, Nadal claimed his seventh title of the year, all of which have come on clay, and improved his record to 54-8 this year. Nadal is second only to world No. 1 Roger Federer in titles (8) and wins (58) this year. Nadal, ranked second in the INDESIT ATP 2005 Race, extended his clay court winning streak to 29 and has lost only two matches this year on clay. His last loss on clay came in the quarterfinals of Valencia to Igor Andreev on April 8. Nadal has now won his last five clay court tournaments, including the Roland Garros championship.

Berdych, who was looking to claim his second career title, posted his best finish this year, appearing in his first final of 2005. The Czech pushed the No. 1 seed Nadal to three sets before the reigning Roland Garros champion served out the match. The contest between the two teens marked the youngest ATP final this season.

No. 1 seeds are 16-0 in ATP finals this year.