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Bedene into Budapest final, Murray out in Barcelona SFs

14 May 2017

Spain's Nadal met with Austria's Dominic Thiem in the final of the ATP World Tour 500 tournament in Barcelona and was unstoppable as he cruised home in straight sets.

Nadal is two-thirds of the way to an unfathomable clay-court hat trick - winning 10 titles in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Paris.

There never looked any doubt that he would repeat the feat in Barcelona on the court that bears his name, and he duly romped to a 6-4 6-1 victory over Dominic Thiem in the final.

There was no let-up in the second set from Nadal, who broke the 23-year-old twice in a row before serving to wrap up his 51st tournament win on clay.

Murray raced out to a 4-0 lead in the tiebreak and saw it out as Ramos-Vinolas's efforts over the past two weeks finally began to take their toll.

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A win for the world number five would make it his second title of 2017 and his 10th overall Barcelona title.

It was Thiem's first win in three meetings against Murray.

Nadal will go for a 10th title at the French Open in a month's time, and on this form he unquestionably heads to Roland Garros as the favourite. "Sometimes on clay matches happen this way, so very happy to get through because it was very tough".

Spanish Rafael Nadal also reached semi-finals by registering 7-6 (7-1) 6-2 win over Korean qualifier Hyeon Chung.

"He's the No. 1 (player) in the world, so you have to find something in between playing aggressive and not making mistakes", Thiem said.

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The Scot faced a real battle to hold serve in the first game of the second set, but did so as it went with serve, albeit Thiem's holds were far more routine than his opponent's.

The Austrian will face Rafael Nadal, who is looking for his 10th title in Barcelona, in Sunday's final after the Spaniard defeated Argentina's Horacio Zeballos 6-3, 6-4. "It means a lot to me", added Nadal.

"I really enjoyed the week in Barcelona", Thiem said.

Federer is likely to make it to at least number two by the summer if he picks up where he left off once he's back for grass season, or sooner, depending on if he joins at the end of the clay season for the French Open grand slam. He has all the right things to be a good player.

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