© Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell

Rafael Nadal wins the final three games of the second set against Martin Klizan to keep his sets-won streak alive on Friday in Barcelona.

Nadal Forced To Rally In Barcelona

Spaniard will meet Goffin or Bautista Agut in SF

Rafael Nadal endured his most serious test of the young clay-court season on Friday at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. But the Spaniard fought through – coming back from a break down in the second set – to reach his 11th Barcelona semi-final (11-1 in QF).

The No. 1 player in the ATP Rankings extended his clay-court sets win streak to 42 and his clay-court match-wins streak to 17 against Martin Klizan of Slovakia. Nadal saved three set points in the second set and ousted the left-hander 6-0, 7-5 on Pista Rafa Nadal.

The 31-year-old Spaniard, with a chance to play for his 11th Barcelona title on the line, will next face fourth seed David Goffin, who beat Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-2. Goffin has come back from a set down in all three of his matches this week in Barcelona. Nadal leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 2-1, but Goffin won their most-recent contest at the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals.


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Nadal dominated the opener against Klizan, breaking the left-hander three times and dropping only four points on serve (12/16). The Spaniard was racing all over the court and attacking the Slovakian, who had beaten Novak Djokovic and Feliciano Lopez of Spain to make the quarter-finals.

But in the second set, Klizan, a three-time clay-court titlist, found his form, breaking to start and mixing in drop shots against Nadal. At 5-4, Klizan had the set on his racquet.

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That alone marked an accomplishment: Not since the 2017 Rome quarter-finals last May, when Dominic Thiem beat Nadal 6-4, 6-3, had someone won so many games against Nadal during a set on clay.

But Klizan couldn't force a decider. Three set points came and went, and Nadal delivered a series of fist pumps and shouts after Klizan lifted a forehand wide on break point. The Spaniard raced through the final two games, prolonging his streaks and his stay in Barcelona.

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