BARCELONA, Spain (AP) – Rafael Nadal brushed aside Cameron Norrie 6-1, 6-4 to ease into the semifinals ofon Friday and moved closer to a record-extending 12th title at the event.
After Nadal breezed through the first set, Britain’s Norrie won back a break in the second. Nadal, however, took the advantage right back and closed it out when he converted on a second match point by smashing a forehand just inside the line.
“I had a good first set, dominating with my drive and moving the ball around,” Nadal said. “In the second set I let up a bit and …. I need to make sure that doesn’t happen tomorrow.”
Nadal will face countryman Pablo Carreno or Diego Schwartzman on Saturday for a spot in the final.
The top-seeded Nadal needed three sets to get past Kei Nishikori and Ilya Ivashka in the first two rounds in Barcelona. Nadal is looking to rebound from a quarterfinal exit at Monte Carlo last week.
Second-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 6-3 for the Greek’s eighth straight-set victory in a row including his title run last week at Monte Carlo.
Tsitsipas will next face Jannik Sinner after he defeated Andrey Rublev 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-4.
was not held last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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