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Barcelona Open 2012: Nadal Proves He's the Man to Beat

Photo courtesy of www.livetennisupdates.com.
Photo courtesy of www.livetennisupdates.com.
Andrew KaakeCorrespondent IIApril 28, 2012

Rafael Nadal proved he can play without taking 27 seconds between points, dominating Fernando Verdasco in the second semifinal of the Barcelona Open, 6-0, 6-4.

Nadal is still the man to beat on a clay surface, and he didn't waste any time in establishing the upper hand against Verdasco. Nadal whizzed to a bagel set, needing 27 points to Verdasco's 10 to win, only three points more than the absolute minimum required to take a set.

The second set began much more equitably, and Verdasco showed signs of life early on, holding his first two serves and avoiding a break point to stay even at 2-2. In the fifth game of the set, Nadal wasted a triple-break point opportunity, but managed to capitalize on the first point after deuce to take the lead at 3-2.

That break, the only one of the second set, would prove decisive, as neither player would break again for the duration of the match. Verdasco gave Nadal a run late in the set, but he couldn't quite punch in the break he needed. Nadal served for the win at 6-4, securing the match in well under two hours.

With the win, Nadal advances to his seventh final in Barcelona. It will be his fourth final against Ferrer. In his four finals against Ferrer, Nadal is undefeated, and he hopes to keep that trend and his momentum on clay going tomorrow.

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