Rafael Nadal through to face Stefanos Tsitsipas in Barcelona Open final as Ashleigh Barty stays on course in Stuttgart
Rafael Nadal to face Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Barcelona Open final as he bids to win his 12th title on the Catalan clay; world No 1 Ashleigh Barty will take on Aryna Sabalenka in the Porsche Grand Prix final
Last Updated: 25/04/21 6:30am
Top seed Rafael Nadal will take on Stefanos Tsitsipas aiming to land his 12th Barcelona Open title, while Ashleigh Barty stayed on course for her maiden Stuttgart crown.
Nadal, the 11-time champion on the Catalan clay eased past fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3 6-2 to improve to an 8-0 career record over his opponent.
Second-seeded Tsitsipas made it through after beating 19-year-old Italian Jannik Sinner 6-3 6-3 for his eighth consecutive straight-sets victory - including last weeks title run at the Monte Carlo Masters.
The 34-year-old Nadal has won all 11 finals he has reached in Barcelona.
He dominated the tournament in his home country from 2005-09, 2011-13, and 2016-18, although he lost in the 2019 semi-finals to eventual champion Dominic Thiem.
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"It's a home tournament. I have been achieving (success in) a lot of tournaments here during my career," said Nadal.
"To be able to play another final is already important for me, for my confidence. Some good points too and at the same time, I give myself a chance to play tomorrow against probably the player who is playing the best on the Tour today. So let's see.
"I need to elevate my level a little bit more. I did a couple of times in my tennis career and why not tomorrow. I hope tomorrow can be one of these special days."
Overall, Nadal holds a 6-2 head-to-head record with Tsitsipas, including a victory in the 2018 final here.
"It feels great to be back (in the final). I will try to redeem myself from last time," Tsitsipas said.
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Top-ranked Barty celebrated her birthday by coming back from a set down to beat the fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 and book her place in the Porsche Grand Prix final.
Barty, 25, turned the match around after Svitolina was unable to serve out the match at 5-4 in the second set.
The Australian world No 1 will play Aryna Sabalenka in Sunday's final as she bids for her first clay title since the 2019 French Open.
Sabalenka, who won the Abu Dhabi title earlier this year, produced an emphatic performance to dispatch Simona Halep 6-3 6-2.
Top seed Elise Mertens and unseeded Sorana Cirstea will contest the TEP BNP Paribas Tennis Championship final in Istanbul.
Mertens ended third seed Veronika Kudermetova's nine-match winning streak with a 6-1 6-4 semi-final victory.
Cirstea held off teenager Marta Kostyuk 6-4 6-4 to tee up that final match-up.