Rafael Nadal’s set streak nearly came to an end Friday in Barcelona. Facing Martin Klizan – who upset Novak Djokovic earlier in the week – Nadal found himself down in the second as Klizan served for it. But Rafa swatted aside three set points and took the match 6-2, 7-5.
“I started well,” Nadal said. “He made mistakes, especially with his backhand and to be honest, I felt very good. Then, in the second round, I played bad and with a horrible service. He played very aggressive and discomforted me a lot with the constant shots, that could be crossed or parallel, something unpredictable and that confused me enough. It was tough, but the important thing was not to fail.”
On clay, Nadal has now won 17 straight matches and 42 sets in a row. Up next tomorrow in the semifinals is David Goffin.
The Belgian who is returning from an eye injury kept Roberto Bautista Agut winless against Top 10s on clay by dispatching Rafa’s countryman 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-2.
“Tomorrow will be a very tough game, but I will play knowing that I have nothing to lose, Rafa is the best on earth and I will have to give my best to overcome him”, said Goffin who is 1-2 against Nadal.
Rising Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas collected his biggest career win overcoming an early break deficit to stun Dominic Thiem 6-3, 6-2. He moves on to face Pablo Carreno Busta who returned to the Barcelona semifinals after bouncing Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 7-6(4).
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