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Nadal beats Tipsarevic to reach Barcelona semis

sports Updated: Apr 28, 2012 01:52 IST
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Rafael Nadal brushed aside Janko Tipsarevic 6-2, 6-2 on Friday to advance to the Barcelona Open semifinals, while Milos Raonic served 14 aces on his way to eliminating second-seeded Andy Murray in straight sets.

The top-seeded Nadal was in vintage form, moving his Serbian opponent all around the red-clay court with his powerful forehand.

The second-ranked Spaniard broke Tipsarevic in his first service game to set the tone for his 32nd consecutive win at the tournament. Tipsarevic earned three break points in the last game of the first set, but Nadal recovered to win five straight points.

Nadal was broken for the first time to make it 2-2 in the second set, giving the fifth-seeded Tipsarevic a glint of hope. But the local favorite rebounded to win the next four games, capping a dominating performance with two straight aces to close out the match in 1 hour, 23 minutes.

Raonic, who trains at the Real Club de Tenis, used his strong forehand to beat Murray 6-4, 7-6 (3).

The 11th-seeded Canadian broke the fourth-ranked Murray to lead 4-3 and then set up a set point with an ace before smacking a forehand down the line to take the first set.

Murray managed only four points on Raonic's serve in the first set and continued to struggle on the return in the second. But Murray broke Raonic when the Canadian served for the match before losing in the tiebreaker.

"It's very, very difficult and a big plus in confidence for me," Raonic said. "Clay's not his best surface, but he consistently does well on it. Last year he reached the semifinals at the French Open, Monte Carlo and Rome, so he can play really well on it. For me, it was a big win, regardless of the surface."

Raonic is one win away from his fourth final of the season. He will next face David Ferrer, who saved three match points while rallying to beat Feliciano Lopez 6-7 (4), 7-6 (7), 6-3.

After saving a pair of match points, Ferrer battled back from a 4-1 deficit in the second set tiebreaker, aided by Lopez returning his third match point long.

"It was a very tough match where both players had good chances. I knew if I fought I could win," Ferrer said after reaching the semifinals in Barcelona for the sixth time. "It was our best game on clay. Feli made it very difficult for me."