Efficient Rafael Nadal racks up clay win No 450 as he eases past Cameron Norrie at Barcelona Open
Rafael Nadal brushed aside Cameron Norrie in the quarter-final of the Barcelona Open to stay on course for a 12th title in the Spanish city.
After going the distance in first two matches in Barcelona this week, Nadal finally hit his straps from the word go as he dropped only one game in the first set.
Although the top seed admits he lost focus in the second, he still cruised to a 6-1, 6-4 victory to secure his 450th career win on clay.
450 wins on clay for @RafaelNadal! 💪
The Spaniard moves a step closer to a 12th Barcelona title with a 6-1 6-4 victory over Norrie.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) April 23, 2021
“I played well at the beginning, especially the first set I think I did a lot of things well,” the 20-time Grand Slam winner said.
“Then, I stopped myself a little bit in the second. [That’s] something that cannot happen, especially tomorrow. I need to hold the level of intensity of the first set.”
The Spaniard will face either fourth seed Diego Schwartzman or eighth seed Pablo Carreno Busta for a place in the final.
Second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and Jannik Sinner will contest the other semi-final after the former claimed a solid 6-3, 6-3 victory over Felix Auger-Aliassime while teenager Sinner upset third seed Andrey Rublev 6-2, 7-6 (8-6).
“I am trying to get better every week,” Sinner, who finished runner-up at the Miami Open at the beginning of April, said.
“He (Rublev) has played many, many matches already this year and I tried to play my tennis.
The Italian added: “It was difficult to finish it off. I had three break points at 5-5 (in the second set), which I could not convert, but I’m pleased to win in the end.”
Novak Djokovic news: Tim Henman exclusive on the ‘shambles’ in Australia
Henman has described the Novak Djokovic visa row in Australia as ‘a shambles.
Australian Open news: Can Craig Tiley survive amid Novak Djokovic crisis
Tiley is coming under increasing pressure, after Novak Djokovic’s saw his visa to remain in Melbourne revoked for a second time on Friday.
Novak Djokovic deportation saga: What happened, how did we get here and what happens next?
Michael Graham on the Novak Djokovic drama.
Novak Djokovic news: Grand Slam finalist gives his verdict on the story rocking tennis
Former world No.2 Alex Corretja believes Novak Djokovic’s legacy will be impacted by his visa row in Australia.
Andy Murray news: Big fightback in Sydney sees Scot make his first ATP final since 2019
The Scot recovered from a set down and will bid for a 47th career title on Saturday.
Novak Djokovic comment: Enough is enough… it’s time to end the circus
Djokovic should appreciate that winning this fight may, in fact, damage a legacy that has already been tarnished in brutal fashion.
Novak Djokovic news: Visa cancelled by country’s Immigration Minister as appeal is launched
Djokovic was hoping to defend his Australian Open title.
Novak Djokovic news: Andy Murray gives his verdict on the latest twist in visa saga
Andy Murray believes Novak Djokovic’s situation is not good for everyone.
Emma Raducanu news: New Nike advert released ahead of Australian Open
Raducanu has been given the A-list treatment by her sponsors Nike.
Emma Raducanu news: Former world No.2 tells Tennis365 US Open champion destined for glory
Alex Corretja believes she is capable of winning more Grand Slams.