The Barcelona Open seems to be reaching its conclusion and as expected the top 2 seeds have made it into the semi-finals of the ATP 500 tournament.
While Rafa Nadal made light work of Cameron Norrie in straight sets on Friday, Stefano Tsitsipas extended his winning run to 8 matches in a straight-sets victory over Felix AugurAliassime.
Accompanying the celebrated duo in the last four would be the Italian teen sensation Janik Sinner who achieved one of the biggest wins of the season against Monte Carlo finalist Andrey Rublev in straight sets 6-2,7-6.Completing the final four would be world number 13 Pablo Carren Busta.
Rafa finding his rhythm back-
The top seed looked to be at his fearsome best from the start against Norrie, breaking to take a 3-1 lead and reeling off the last five games in a row to take the opening set. The No.58-ranked Brit was hanging with Rafa in the early exchanges, but the gulf between them widened as the 11-time champion found his footing.
Nadal’s forehand was firing during the one-hour and 35-minute battle, keeping the Norrie serve under pressure throughout. The Spaniard converted half of the eight break points he created and took a 2-1 lead in the second set.
Things got a bit complicated as a late effort from Norrie saw the Brit break back to level the score at 4-4, but Rafa slammed the door on any hope for a comeback with an emphatic break straight back to love.
“I played well at the beginning, especially in the first set. I think I did a lot of things well. Then I stopped myself a little bit. That’s something that cannot happen, especially tomorrow [in the semi-finals],” Nadal said in an on-court interview.
“I need to hold the level of intensity from the first set [when] I was able to change direction with my forehand and have most of the points under control. Then the situation was a little bit different, so that’s why I suffered later.”
Into his 13th semi-final in Barcelona, Rafa will next face sixth-seeded Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, who lifted the trophy in Marbella earlier in the month. Carreno Busta survived a tight battle against Buenos Aires champion Diego Schwartzman, winning 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 in two hours and 35 minutes.
Tsitsipas continues with his imperious best-
Opening up the singles semi-finals for the Barcelona Open 2021, Greece’s rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas will lock horns with Italian youngster Jannik Sinner on Saturday.
Coming into this tournament off of excellent semi-final runs at the Australian Open and the ATP Rotterdam, a finals appearance at the Mexico Open, and having won his first-ever masters 1000 title at the Monte Carlo Master just last week, Tsitsipas will be rearing to set up a finals clash with the King of Clay.
So far, he has defeated Jaume Munar 6-0, 6-2, Alex de Minaur 7-5, 6-3, and Felix Auger Aliassime 6-3, 6-3.