Top seed Rafael Nadal powered past fellow lefty Cameron Norrie in straight sets on Friday to return to the semi-finals at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.
Coming into his quarter-final clash, the 11-time champion had already lost two sets this week after being taken the distance against Ilya Ivashka and two-time Barcelona champion Kei Nishikori. It was cause for alarm for some Spanish tennis fans, as Nadal had not previously dropped more than one set en route to any of his record Barcelona titles, nine of which he claimed without losing a set.
But Nadal made sure to not concede another, coming out swinging against Norrie and dictating with his forehand to record a 6-1, 6-4 victory on Pista Rafa Nadal.
With the victory, Nadal improved to 2-0 in his ATP Head2Head against Norrie, making it 18 consecutive victories over left-handed players since 2017 in Montreal (l. Shapovalov). Nadal’s overall record against fellow lefties now sits at 108-15.
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Into his 13th semi-final in Barcelona, Nadal awaits the winner of Buenos Aires champion Diego Schwartzman, the fourth seed, and sixth-seeded Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, who lifted the trophy in Marbella earlier in the month.