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Unstoppable Tsitsipas sets up Barcelona final against Nadal

The Stefanos Tsitsipas machine keeps rolling on as the Greek set up a final against 11-times champion Rafael Nadal

Stefanos Tsitsipas Stefanos Tsitsipas

ATP Barcelona Open, semi-final
Tsitsipas beats Sinner 6-3, 6-3

  • What happened:Tsitsipas snatched one break in each set for victory.
  • What made it interesting: Sinner had a number of chances to break Tsitsipas in each set but could not take them.
  • You will also learn:Tsitsipas now plays 11-times champion Rafael Nadal in the final.

For Stefanos Tsitsipas, it seems that revenge is a dish best served on clay seven months later.

Beaten by Jannik Sinner in Rome last year, Tsitsipas took his winning streak to nine matches in a row, 17 sets in a row with a battling performance, breaking once in each set for victory.

“Sinner’s an amazing player,” Tsitsipas said. “It was very close. He had a lot of opportunities, break point opportunities on my serve, so it could have been different but I stayed tough and converted my chances.

“My level was high today and I would say today was one of my best days on serve.”

Neither player was at their scintillating best and Sinner had Tsitsipas in trouble in several service games early in each set, but when he needed it, Tsitsipas found some big serves and his willingness to come forward was the key as he moved into his 15th ATP Tour final.

Rafael Nadal, the 11-time champion in Barcelona, saw off fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3, 6-2 in the second semi-final.

Nadal beat Tsitsipas in the Greek’s first ATP Tour final in 2018 and the world No 5 said he was looking forward to the rematch, having also beaten Nadal at the Australian Open in February.

“It feels great to be back in the final,” he said. “It was a learning experience for me playing the first final against Rafa. He’s someone I really respect and I’ve always dreamed of beating. The fact I was able to do it this year pushes me even further. I feel I need experiences like this to push me forward in my career.”

Nadal, whose serve was vastly improved against Carreno Busta, said he was looking forward to another contest against Tsitsipas.

“I have been improving whole week,” he said. “Every day was a little bit better. Today was my best match, tomorrow will be a very tough one against an opponent who’s playing at a very high level but let’s see. I hope I will be able to play even better than today.”

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