ATP Tour

Nadal books final spot

2013-04-27 19:24
Rafa Nadal (AFP)
Barcelona - Rafa Nadal moved to within one victory of an eighth Barcelona Open title in nine years when he thrashed Canadian fifth seed Milos Raonic 6-4 6-0 on Saturday to set up a final against fourth-seeded Spanish compatriot Nicolas Almagro.

Chasing a fourth title of the year after returning from a seven-month injury layoff in February, Nadal recovered from a slow start on the clay at the Real Club de Tenis when he lost his serve in the second game to fall 2-0 behind.

The French Open champion broke straight back and again for a 4-3 lead before closing out the first set and he turned the screw in the second to secure a comfortable third win in three matches against the big-serving world number 13.

"I am very happy to be in the final again," Nadal said in an interview with Spanish television broadcaster TVE.

"Whatever happens tomorrow it has been a great tournament for me and to reach six finals out of six since I returned from injury could hardly be better," he added.

Almagro, who reached the semi-finals in 2006 and 2011, improved his head-to-head record against eighth-seeded German Philipp Kohlschreiber to five wins and three defeats with a similarly clinical performance.

The 27-year-old, bidding for a 13th career title, did not face a single break point and converted four of his seven opportunities to seal a 6-2 6-1 victory in just over 50 minutes.

"I know that Nico is playing at a very high level and has had a fantastic week," Nadal said.

"I will try to play aggressively and dominate the points although it will be very hard against a player like him."

It was a relief for organisers to get both semi-finals out of the way after the rain that has fallen throughout the week in the Catalan capital delayed the start of play.

Nadal is looking to bounce back from his defeat by Serbian world number one Novak Djokovic in Sunday's Monte Carlo Masters final.

The 26-year-old Majorcan, who like Raonic had to play twice on Friday because of the rain delays, extended his winning streak in Barcelona to 38 matches, his only defeat coming against compatriot Alex Corretja, now Spain's Davis Cup captain, in the second round in 2003.

Read more on:    barcelona open  |  rafa nadal  |  tennis
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.