World No. 1 Rafael Nadal is through to the semi-finals of the inaugural Rio Open, where he will meet fellow countryman Pablo Andujar for a spot in the final. This marks the third time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Nadal leading the head-to-head series 2-0.
Nadal breezed stormed past Portuguese youngster Joao Sousa in straight sets to set up a semi-final clash with Pablo Andujar. The Spaniard served at 70% during the match and fired 24 winners to oust the World No. 48 6-1, 6-0 win in 75 minutes. So far this week, Nadal has been unstoppable and is yet to drop more than eight games during a match in his first tournament on clay this season.
World No. 48 Pablo Andujar earned the upset of the day on Friday afternoon, when he defeated Tommy Robredo in straight set to reach his ninth ATP World Tour semi-final. Andujar saved all five break points faced and won 58 per cent of return points to set up the semi-final clash with the world No. 1. The Spaniard began his week with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Julian Reister in the first round before getting a walkover following Martin Klizan’s withdrawal in the second round.
This marks the third time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Nadal leading the head-to-head series 2-0. Rafa’s victories came in the form of straight-set wins at Roland Garros in 2011 and in the semis of the Madrid Masters in 2013. This will likely be another quick victory for the top seed, as he continues his campaign for his second ATP World Tour title of the season.
Prediction: Rafael Nadal in Straight Sets