Nadal defeats Raonic to set up Barcelona final against Almagro

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Home crowd favorites Rafa Nadal and Nicolas Almagro will square off against each other in the Barcelona 2013 final after claiming straight sets victories in the semis.

Second seed Nadal eased into his eighth Barcelona final after dismissing fifth-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic. The latter was unable to win a set in their previous two encounters, but he started the semifinal match well by stealing the defending champion’s serve in the second set. He failed to confirm the break, though, and allowed Nadal to get his nose in front by 5-3. The Spaniard served out the opener easily a couple of games later. The set number two was a walk in the park for the king of clay as he prevented the young Canadian to get on the board. Raonic won only 13 out of 42 rallies in the second set, while Nadal won 53% of the return points (Raonic 31%) during the match. End result: 6-4, 6-0 after one hour and thirteen minutes of play.

Nadal’s countryman and a final opponent Almagro had an even easier job against eighth-seeded German Philipp Kohlschreiber as it was all over in fifty-two minutes. The opener was tight enough until 3-2 when the fourth seed Spaniard clinched his first break and added another one two games later to move one set ahead. He kept helpless German at bay in the second set as well, getting hold of a double break cushion by 5-1. He served the match out elegantly and secured his spot in Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell final with an exquisite 6-2, 6-1 triumph. Almagro, who did not face any break balls in the semifinal, lost all of his previous eight clashes against Nadal.

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