Rafael Nadal remains on course for a ninth Barcelona Open title as a comfortable 6-3, 6-3 win over Philipp Kohlschreiber sealed his passage to the final.
Nadal needed an hour and a half to see off his German opponent, and will now face defending champion Kei Nishikori in today’s final after the Japanese beat Benoit Paire in straight sets earlier in the day.
Kohlschreiber managed to save five break points across both sets but eventually crumbled to Nadal, who had an easier afternoon than the victory over Fabio Fognini in the last eight.
It means 29-year-old Nadal is now searching for yet another title in Barcelona, having dominated the tournament between 2005 and 2009 and then between 2011 and 2013.
The Spaniard is eyeing back-to-back titles after winning in Monte Carlo last week.
World No.6 Nishikori is also chasing a bit of history, that of a hat-trick of Barcelona titles, after beating Paire 6-3, 6-2 in a semi-final lasting just 67 minutes.
Paire was second-best throughout yesterday’s contest, with 2014 and 2015 champion Nishikori capitalising on the Frenchman’s frustrations to good effect.
On the WTA Tour, home favourite Laura Siegemund stunned top seed and world No.2 Agnieszka Radwanska to book her place in the final of the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart.
The qualifier continued her remarkable week by adding Radwanska to her growing list of scalps, breaking her high-profile opponent five times as she pulled off a convincing 6-4, 6-2 win.
Siegemund had already beaten Simona Halep and Roberta Vinci to reach the last four and she will now fancy her chances of lifting her first WTA Tour title of her career.
The world No.71 will face compatriot Angelique Kerber, who edged a classic showdown against Petra Kvitova 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in order to book her place in today’s final.