Top seed Rafael Nadal will meet David Ferrer in an all-Spanish showdown at the Barcelona Open after contrasting semi-final victories on Saturday.
Nadal produced a claycourt masterclass to demolish German Denis Gremelmayr 6-1 6-0 while Ferrer had to work much harder to tame big-hitting Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6 6-3.
World number two Nadal, trying to win the title for the fourth successive year, was in irrepressible form as he raced to victory over Gremelmayr in 50 minutes.
”I am very happy with the way I have been playing in my first two claycourt tournaments,” Nadal said, having won the Masters Series title in Monte Carlo last weekend.
”He seemed a little bit tired after his match yesterday so that helped me,” added Nadal of Gremelmayr’s two hours and 48 minutes long victory over Spaniard Nicolas Almagro.
”I knew he had been having a very good claycourt season, reaching the semifinals in Estoril and doing well in South America, but I am very pleased with my level of play and am happy to be in the final again.”
Gremelmayr, who took a set off world number one Roger Federer in Estoril, had beaten three seeded players — James Blake, Dmitry Tursunov and Almagro — en route to the last four but was totally outclassed by a rampant Nadal.
The German world number 85 held his opening service game but that was as good as it got as Nadal tore him apart.
Second seed Ferrer looked in trouble when world number 27 Wawrinka served for the opening set at 5-4 having broken in the fifth game.
But the Swiss cracked under pressure and although he forced a set point in the tiebreak, Ferrer saved it and won the tiebreak 10-8 to move ahead.
The world number five then broke in the fifth game of the second set and again in the ninth game to reach his second final of the year after winning the Valencia Open last month.
Nadal said he expected a tough match against his compatriot, who has beaten him three times in their eight meetings including a win at last year’s US Open.
”I know his game very well,” Nadal said. ”And he has beaten me several times so I have to have a lot of respect and be at my best to win tomorrow.” – Reuters