Nadal, Nishikori on collision course

Top seeds Rafael Nadal and Kei Nishikori remain on course for a final showdown at this week's Barcelona Open.

Nadal, a former eight-time champion at the event, and Nishikori, the current two-time defending champion, both secured straight sets quarter-final victories on Friday.

Taking on Italy's Fabio Fognini, the man responsible for knocking him out of the tournament last year, Nadal was able to avenge that defeat with a 6-2, 7-6 (7-1) victory.

Nadal continued to look in good shape on his favoured clay courts, firing in 80 percent of his first serves to surrender just three break points throughout the contest.

To his credit, Fognini snaffled all three of them, but with Nadal earning a whopping 16 break points of his own and converting five of them, the Italian could never really gain the ascendancy.

He did briefly lead 4-2 in the second set, but Nadal soon equalised before going on to dominate the tie-break and wrap up the victory.


Nishikori was even more dominant against his opponent Alexandr Dolgopolov.

The first set was reasonably tight, but the Japanese star managed to grab the decisive break in the 11th game before running away with the contest in the second set, eventually wrapping up a 7-5, 6-0 victory.

Awaiting Nadal in the semi-final is Germany's Phillip Kohlschreiber, who was a comfortable 6-3, 6-1 winner over Andrey Kuznetsov.

Nishikori moves on to face Frenchman Benoit Paire, who defeated Malek Jaziri 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 in the first match of the day.