An all-Spanish quarter-final is scheduled to take place Friday afternoon, as world No. 1 Rafael Nadal and Nicolas Almagro meet for a spot in the final four in Barcelona. Nadal won the his eighth title at this event last year when he defeated Almagro 6-4, 6-3 in the final, and will be looking to duplicate his efforts this time around with another straight sets victory. Nadal is undefeated against Almagro, with a 10-0 record in the head-to-head series. Check out the Nadal vs Almagro H2H matches.
The world No. 1 Rafael Nadal defeated Ivan Dodig 6-3, 6-3 to reach set up the quarter-final clash with his fellow countryman. It was a typical effort from Rafa, and was helped along by Dodig’s high rate of unforced errors throughout the match (23). While headlines have claimed that Nadal is in Barcelona with a “lack of confidence,” the top seed’s performances so far this week say otherwise.
“I think I improved everything in my game a little bit,” said Nadal. “I’m happy with the way I played. I was a little bit more aggressive with more control on my shots and changing direction better than I did yesterday. I was able to hit a few winners with the right confidence. That’s the important thing for me.”
- Nadal has not lost at the Barcelona Open since 2003.
- Nadal is after his 44th title on the clay court surface.
World No. 20 Nicolas Almagro also eased into the quarter-final round, after defeating countryman Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-3 on Thursday afternoon. Almagro hit 4 aces and won 84% of his first service points to secure the win in 1 hour and 13 minutes.
This marks the 11th time these two competitors will clash on the ATP World Tour, with Nadal holding an impenetrable 10-0 record against Almagro. The record includes an 8-0 clay court record, including ones in Barcelona and Acapulco in 2013. The last time Almagro took a set of the world No. 1 was back in the 2010 Madrid Masters, and it is unlikely that he will be able to break that streak on Friday afternoon.
Prediction: Rafael Nadal in Straight Sets