Nadal Dismisses Kohlschreiber, To Play For Ninth Barcelona Title

Spaniard to face Kei Nishikori for title

One week after completing his ninth title run at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, Rafael Nadal will vie for a ninth crown at another happy hunting ground.

The top seeded Spaniard will look to dethrone two-time defending champion Kei Nishikori on Sunday after downing Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-3 in the semis of the Barcelona Open BancSabadell. Bidding for an unprecedented ninth victory on home soil, he is hoping to lift his first trophy in three years, adding to crowns in 2005-'09 and 2011-'13 at the Real Club Tenis Barcelona-1899.

"Tomorrow I will play against one of the world's best players and it will be complicated," said Nadal. "I have to play a great match to win the final." 

Most Titles At A Single Tournament (Open Era)

Player

Titles
Tournament
Rafael Nadal
9
Monte-Carlo
Rafael Nadal
9
Roland Garros
Rafael Nadal
8
Barcelona
Roger Federer
8
Halle
Guillermo Vilas
8
Buenos Aires

Nadal had his entire shotmaking arsenal on display against Kohlschreiber, firing 18 winners and claiming 80 per cent of first serve points. He denied his lone break point faced, while capitalising on three of eight on the German's serve.

Nadal broke for a 4-2 lead in the first set when a Kohlschreiber forehand clipped the tape and sailed long. The Spaniard continued to apply the pressure in the second, and after failing to convert on three break points in the fifth game, he took his fourth chance for 4-3 and another to seal the victory two games later. He struck a deep return at Kohlschreiber's feet and a backhand winner to the open court to emerge victorious on his first match point after one hour and 32 minutes.

The World No. 5 advanced to his 101st tour-level final, where he will look to continue his winning ways against Nishikori. Nadal owns an 8-1 advantage in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry, with their lone final encounter also coming on Spanish soil, in Madrid two years ago.

Should Nadal prevail on Sunday, he would earn a record-tying 49th career clay-court crown, pulling level with Guillermo Vilas.

Most Clay-Court Titles (Open Era)

Player

Titles
Guillermo Vilas
49
Rafael Nadal
48
Thomas Muster
40
Bjorn Borg
30
Manuel Orantes 30
 
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