It's another week that went by, another clay court event Rafael Nadal has won. The 30-year-old Spaniard successfully defended last year's triumph in Barcelona, an ATP 500 event.

It's his 10th title in singles at this particular event and his 51st clay court success overall. But the most encouraging fact is that Nadal seems to have gathered enough confidence under his shell in order to produce high-quality tennis for an extended time-span. The first part of the season was entirely about Roger Federer and his tremendous success while Nadal stood somewhere in the shadow with fluctuations regarding his tennis.

Now, the momentum is definitely shifting its nose towards Nadal's backyard as he is expected to dig deeper over the next months or so.

Defending last year's points means that Nadal secured himself a solid ranking

Entering the European red clay swing, Rafael Nadal had to defend 1500 points at the first two events, namely Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters and Barcelona Open. By not letting anything to chance, he completed the task and cemented his spot with significant improvement expected next.

While the ATP Tour will spread across Europe this week having scheduled tournaments in Istanbul, Munich, and Estoril, Nadal will step aside in order to prepare for the next big challenges looming ahead. Rome in Madrid follows the next battleground.

Both being Masters 1000 events means that the Spanish clay court specialist will have the opportunity to re-enter the top 4. The obstacles seem easy to pass by as Federer won't play up until the French Open.

Nadal is playing his best tennis in years

Some syncopes during the hardcourt season seem to have been forgotten once the action shifted to clay.

Besides, there is no strange or concerning appanage around The Spaniard. He is playing pain-free and without any sign of injury.

There are no medical wrists bands, no knee straps and all these simply allow the Spaniard to dominate the clay court like he used to. No outside pressure means 100% focus on the game of tennis which always brings Rafael Nadal in a winning position.

The yesterday's match in Barcelona against Thiem was the last episode of this tremendous series.

Nadal simply had the tennis court at his disposal while the young Austrian who ousted the world no. 1 in the previous round seemed too fragile. A final verdict in Nadal's case won't be possible until he will face a true titan like Djokovic, Murray, Federer or even Wawrinka on a clay court epic.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!