Nadal reaches Barcelona final for first time in 3 years

Barcelona, April 24 (IANS) Three years after he clinched his eighth title at the Barcelona Open, Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal is back in the final after eliminating Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-3.

The 29-year-old Nadal advanced to his first final in Barcelona since 2013, when he added to his record haul of winner’s trophies at this clay-court event here on Saturday, reports Efe.

The Spaniard won in one hour and 32 minutes. He did not drop serve once during Saturday’s semi-final and staved off the lone break point he faced against the 27th-ranked German.

On Friday, the top seed and World No.5 avenged his round-of-16 loss last year to Italy’s Fabio Fognini. In 2014, Nadal fell in the quarter-finals to compatriot Nicolas Almagro.

The Spanish star, who won last week’s Monte Carlo Masters, is vying for more trophies and looking to build further confidence and momentum heading into the French Open, which gets under way on May 22.

In the final, Nadal will take on Japanese two-time defending champion Kei Nishikori, the second seed and World No.6.

Nishikori cruised past Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-2 in Saturday’s first semi-final.

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