Nadal reaches Barcelona Open final; Murray knocked out by Thiem

Posted April 30, 2017

It appeared his array of sparkling winners had been ended by Murray's determined rearguard, which saw the three-time Grand Slam victor twice stave off break points to take the second set in 48 minutes.

Andy Murray is set to play Spaniard Feliciano Lopez later this afternoon.

When a player has won as many clay court titles as Rafael Nadal has, one wonders why he didn't have a court named after him sooner.

Ramos-Vinolas beat the Wimbledon champion on his return from an elbow injury in the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters last week. "It will be a tough match for me, but I am just happy to be back in the final".

Nadal will take a 2-1 career record over Thiem into Sunday's final with all their meetings having come on clay.

Thiem started strong, breaking Murray's first two service games before adding a third break en route to taking the first set. "I was the luckiest in the end".

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Nadal looked set to roll past Zeballos, but he had to save five break points in windy conditions to get the straight-sets win.

Murray served to stay in the match at 4-5, but, when he went way long with a smash to hand Thiem a match point, the 23-year-old closed out the contest.

Nadal and Thiem have met on three occasions previously, on clay each time, and the young Austrian can draw inspiration from his victory over the Spanish great in Buenos Aries previous year, despite having lost their last meeting in Monte Carlo.

The Spaniard - victor of nine French Open title and widely considered the best clay court exponent the game was seen - produced a shot that was half-volley, half- self defence and all kinds of confusing.

Frenchman Pouille saw off the challenge of Slovakian Martin Klizan 6-4 6-3, while Croatia's Karlovic was defeated 6-4 6-3 by British number four Bedene.