Nadal Advances To 11th Barcelona Final
Entering Saturday’s action in Spain, Rafael Nadal had not lost a set in 10 previous semi-final appearances (20-0) at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. The World No. 1 showed no intention of letting slip that record.
Nadal overcame an early break to cruise past World No. 10 David Goffin 6-4, 6-0 in one hour, 22 minutes, becoming the fourth player in the Open Era to win 400 tour-level matches on clay, joining Guillermo Vilas, Manuel Orantes and Thomas Muster.
"Very happy," Nadal said. "I played I think my best match of the tournament so far, no doubt about that. It was a great first set in my opinion. Both of us played at a very high level."
The Spaniard also extended his clay-court winning streak to 18, claiming 44 straight sets on the surface. Six of those 18 triumphs, including Saturday’s against Goffin, have come against Top 10 players. None of the 15 sets against those opponents have been closer than 6-4.
Nadal also avenged a loss against the Belgian from last year’s Nitto ATP Finals, extending his FedEx ATP Head2Head record against the 27-year-old to 3-1. The left-hander will face a first-time ATP World Tour finalist on Sunday, competing for his 11th Barcelona trophy against #NextGenATP Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas.
"Stefanos is a great player. Always the young players have something special and he's playing with big confidence," Nadal said. "He's playing so well, so it's going to be a very tough match tomorrow. I need to be ready to play at the highest level possible."
It appeared early on that Goffin would present a difficult challenge for Nadal, breaking in the opening game of the match when the Spaniard missed a backhand wide. The Belgian then consolidated that break with aggressive play from the baseline. But from there, Nadal won 12 of the next 14 games to clinch a spot in his 113th tour-level singles final (76-36) and 63rd on clay (54-8).