Nadal doubles up in Barcelona
Rafael Nadal came through two matches in a few hours to book his place in the semi-finals of the Barcelona Open.
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The 26-year-old, a seven-time champion at the claycourt event, posted a 7-6 (7/2) 6-2 win in his rain-delayed match with France's Benoit Paire, and followed up with a routine 6-3 6-0 victory over fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos in the quarter-finals.
Nadal's 66th-minute dismissal of Ramos - his 37th straight win in Barcelona - was a marked improvement from his rather sluggish start against Paire, and the 11-time grand slam winner now progresses to a last-four clash with Milos Raonic.
"I played much better this afternoon than in the morning," Nadal said on the ATP website. "I'm very happy to be in the semi-finals in a very important tournament."
Canadian Raonic booked his place in the semi-finals thanks to a 6-7 (5/7) 6-3 7-6 (7/2) win over Tommy Robredo, having earlier seen off Ernests Gulbis in their rain-delayed encounter.
The other semi-final pits Spain's Nicolas Almagro against Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Almagro defeated Juan Monaco 6-3 7-5, while Kohlschreiber benefited from the withdrawal through injury of Thomaz Bellucci, having earlier come through his delayed second-round clash with Martin Klizan.