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Nadal battles past Struff in Barcelona

01 May 2019

Third seed Dominic Thiem is a potential semi-final opponent for the victor of Nadal-Struff, the Austrian defeating home hopeful Jaume Munar 7-5 6-1 to set up a last-eight encounter against Argentina's Guido Pella, who overcame Italy's Benoit Paire 7-5 6-3.

Thiem, who lost to Nadal in the 2017 final, beat the Spaniard 6-4 6-4, also avenging his defeat in last year's French Open final.

Nadal will face Dominic Thiem in the last four, with a final against Kei Nishikori or Daniil Medvedev awaiting the victor. I wish him all the best."Last week, Nadal lost in the semi-finals of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters against Fabio Fognini".

Neither player gave much away in a finely balanced second set, and Struff saved a break point in the eighth game to keep things finely balanced, but Nadal was saving his best tennis for the 12th game. Medvedev held with an ace, 6-5, and produced a stunning backhand victor to bring up match-point.

Nadal led fans in applauding Ferrer as the defeat signalled his last appearance at the Barcelona Open.

Medvedev took the first set but smashed a racket as Nishikori levelled by winning the second. 'Thiem played a great match and I was in it.

"Playing in a final, it's a big achievement for me", Krajinovic, a qualifier, said. I played against a great opponent.

Subsequently, the Russian was successful in converting the third break point as Thiem sliced a backhand into the net and Medvedev consolidated his break with a 3-0 lead.

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On the other side of the coin, Dominic Thiem had a massive win as he defeated Rafael Nadal in straight sets.

While 2018's beaten Roland Garros finalist looks to be building towards another challenge in Paris, the usually dominant Nadal has concerningly now failed to reach consecutive finals on his favoured surface.

"I enjoyed the match, I'm feeling the way I want to feel about my game".

"Considering the way I played, it has been quite a while since I felt this good on clay", he said.

"I had to improve on yesterday, not just the result but overall". But the 25-year old Austrian held to take the set 6-4.

"Even though it is bad that I got injured here, I am happy that it happened at the beginning of the clay season, and not in Rome where it is really close to the French Open".

The pair have played each other no less than eleven times before, with Nadal leading their head-to-head series by eight matches to three.

Nadal battles past Struff in Barcelona