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Rafael Nadal on course for 10th Barcelona Open, to face Dominic Thiem in final

Rafael Nadal defeated Horacio Zeballos and he will face Dominic Thiem in the final of the Barcelona Open after the Austrian brushed aside world number one Andy Murray in a tough three-setter.

tennis Updated: Apr 29, 2017 23:04 IST
Agence France Presse
Agence France Presse
Rafael Nadal,Dominic Thiem,Andy Murray
Rafael Nadal stayed on course to win the Barcelona Open for the 10th time and he will face Dominic Thiem in the final, who defeated World No.1 Andy Murray for the first time.(AFP)

Dominic Thiem claimed his first win over world number one Andy Murray to book his place in the final of the Barcelona Open on Saturday 6-2, 3-6, 6-4.

He will face Rafael Nadal, who moved to within one win of a 10th Barcelona title on Saturday when he swept past Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos 6-3, 6-4 in the semi-finals. Nadal, who captured a 10th Monte Carlo Masters last weekend, will be aiming to build momentum ahead of the French Open.

Murray squeezed past Albert Ramos-Vinolas in a three-hour encounter on Friday and looked flat-footed as Thiem roared through the opening set with three breaks of serve in just over half an hour.

Andy Murray suffered a loss against Dominic Thiem for the first time as he stumbled in the Barcelona Open. ( AFP )

The Scot had to stave off another break point in a marathon opening game to the second set.

But he held on and then jumped at his chance to break for 5-3 before serving out to take the match to a decider.

Murray, though, still looks a pale shadow of the player that rose to number one on a spectacular run at the end of last year as he struggles for form and fitness after an elbow injury.

Thiem had to battle back from a break down in the third, but constantly put pressure on the Murray serve and broke another three times in the deciding set to seal his place in the final.

First Published: Apr 29, 2017 23:04 IST