It might seem like old news by now, but Nadal wouldn’t have it any other way, as he continues to run the gamut through the rest of the tennis field on clay. Rafa inched one step closer to a record 11th Barcelona Open title by defeating David Goffin 6-4, 6-0 in the semifinals on Saturday.

The first set started off competitively, finding Nadal getting broken on his first service game and getting down 2-0.  The lead was short-lived though, as Nadal was able to hold his serve and then break Goffin back to tie it up at 2-2.

Goffin found success serving wide out to Nadal and coming into the net. He kept it close with some aggressive returns, but it was the physical and mental pressure from Nadal that was the difference. Serving at 4-5 in the first set, Goffin had 4 unforced errors to give the set to the current number one.

Goffin made some adjustments in the 2nd set but it was not to the number 10 seed’s advantage.  Nadal’s physicality proved too much and the unforced errors began to pile up for Goffin to allow Nadal to finish off the Belgian.

goffin

With winning in straight sets, Rafa has now won an astounding 44 straight sets on clay, and this victory gives him his 400th career win on clay, good for 4th all time. Nadal finds himself in his 113th final and will be going for a record 55th title on the red soil.

Nadal next faces Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, who took out Pablo Carreño Busta in the other semifinal to avoid setting up an all Spanish final. 19 year old Tsitsipas is the first Greek to make it to any ATP final since Nicholas Kalogeropoulos in 1973.

Nadal and Tsitsipas are scheduled to play the final on Sunday.

 

 

Featured image credit:  DNAIndia.com

Photo credit:  Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters

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