Nadal advances to Barcelona Open quarter-final

Nadal advances to Barcelona Open quarter-final

"For sure, this was one of my best wins on clay. That is how I managed to break at 6-5", said Medvedev. This will be his first final on clay since last year's French Open, where he lost to Nadal.

The players exchanged breaks in the third set before the seventh-seeded Medvedev seized the first match point to break in the 12th game.

In the third set, Nishikori looked like his old self, consistently hitting demanding shots that kept Medvedev on the run and hitting forced errors.

Medvedev, however, broke to even it 2-2. He lost only six service points, and Herbert never had a service break opportunity.

Ferrer saved three match points before finally sending a forehand into the net to give Nadal the win. But back to Saturday's semi-final in Barcelona.

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"It was a big difference [to Monte Carlo]". Thiem, 25 took out Rafael Nadal in the semifinals of the Barcelona Open in straight sets.

"I'm always super proud if I beat him because he's the best player ever on this surface, and it's always very special to beat him here on clay", Thiem said.

Dominic Thiem of Austria defeated defending and 11-time champion, Rafael Nadal of Spain, 6/4 /6/4 and will face Russia's Daniil Medvedev in the title fight. Despite suffering his first loss ever in the semi-finals of a tournament he has largely dominated for over a decade, Nadal said that it was a loss he could learn from heading toward the French Open next month. "And to play him on clay is one of the toughest challenges in our sport", mentioned Thiem after winning his quarterfinal match. Nishikori had to survive a double break point to hold his next service game and stay in the match.

Nadal lost in the semifinals in Monte Carlo last week and then needed three sets to get past Leonard Mayer in his opening match in Barcelona. Prior to this match the pair had met 11 times with Rafa leading a 8-3 head to head but all of Thiem's victory had come on caly against Nadal.

But for all his successes on other surfaces, and his comfort on hard courts, let us make no mistake - Thiem is by far the biggest name on clay since Nadal and Djokovic came onto the scene and that is something his early professional career and his journey as a junior illustrate perfectly. "This was important for David but for me it was important to do better and play with more energy than yesterday I did that so I can go back to my hotel feeling much happier".