Top seed Rafael Nadal showed left-handed Cameron Norrie in straight sets on Friday to return to the semi-finals at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. In the quarter-finals, the 11-time champions had already lost two sets this week after covering the distance against Ilya Ivashka and two-time Barcelona champions Kei Nishikori were alarming to some Spanish tennis fans as Nadal failed to lose more than one set on his way to one of his all-time record titles in Barcelona, claiming nine without losing a single set, but being careful not to take another one, came out, swung against Norrie and dictated a 6 with his right hand.1 to score 6-4 victory over Pista Rafa Nadal.
In his 13th semi-final in Barcelona, Nadal will face sixth Spaniard Pablo Carreño Busta, who won the trophy in Marbella earlier this month.Carreno Busta survived a close fight against the Buenos Aires champion, Diego Schwartzman, and won 6-4, 3-3-6, 7-5 in two hours and 35 minutes.
“Tomorrow I have the most difficult game you can play on this surface,” said Carreño Busta, who is 7-0 behind Nadal on his ATP Head2Head. “I’ll just try my best to enjoy the match – from the start against Norrie at his best, take a 3-1 lead and win the last five games in a row to take the first set.”
The 58-year-old Brit was somehow managing against Nadal in the early exchanges, but the gap between them widened when the 11-time champion found his booth. Nadal’s forehand was fired during the one hour and 35 minute fight, keeping Norrie’s serve under pressure. The Spaniard converted half of the eight breakpoints he had created and took the lead 2-1 in the second set. Things got a little tricky when a late attempt by Norrie sent the British back to bring the score to 4-4, but Nadal closed the door to any hope of comeback with a sweeping break straight into love.