Milos Raonic put up a good fight, but David Ferrer pulled out the semifinal win at the Barcelona Open in straight sets, 7-6(7-2), 7-6(7-5).
In the first set, Raonic looked strong from the start, but failed to capitalize on either of his break point opportunities at 2-2. A failure to seal the deal on breaks would continue to be the main theme of the day for both players, with Raonic going 0-4 and Ferrer missing all seven of their respective break point chances. Raonic missed his last two break attempts of the match to keep it on serve at 3-4, right before holding off two break attempts from Ferrer.
At 5-4, Raonic went down 40-0 on his serve, but battled back to save three consecutive set points and hold. He saved another set point at 6-5 to send the first set into a tiebreaker.
Ferrer had largely been in control of the latter part of the set, and it showed as he won the first six points of the tiebreaker. Raonic held off the inevitable for a moment, but Ferrer finally put the first set away on his third consecutive set point. It took him seven set points, but Ferrer played his best when it counted, while Raonic played his worst tennis in that first set tiebreaker.
The second set was a service clinic, with both players holding serve through another set. Only one break opportunity came along—for Ferrer at 5-5—but Raonic wasted no time in saving it.
In the second set tiebreaker, both players came out firing, exchanging early mini-breaks to keep on serve for the first eight points. Ferrer took a pivotal point from Raonic to go up 5-4, giving him the opportunity to serve for the match.
He won the first point, but lost the second, putting it back on serve. Ferrer scored the deciding point on Raonic's next service and took the match on his second match point opportunity.
This match featured a competition of Raonic's sheer power and relentless attacks against Ferrer's consistent, intelligent play. At many points in the match, Raonic was streaky, and it was Ferrer's consistency that won the day.
Neither player could capitalize on his opportunities during the set, but Ferrer kept cool and took the tiebreakers.
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