Nadal to vie for 10th Barcelona Open crown

Rafael Nadal can cap a truly historic fortnight if he wins Sunday's Barcelona Open final on the court that now bears his name.

The Spanish 'King of Clay' captured an unprecedented 10th Monte Carlo Masters title last week Sunday, becoming the first man in the Open era to win the same tournament 10 times.

And he will have the opportunity to repeat that incredible feat when he takes on Dominic Thiem in Sunday's final at Real Club de Tenis.

The Barcelona venue named its centre court after their favourite son only last week.

Nadal hadn't dropped a set on the way to the semi-final against Horacio Zeballos, and he was no less dominant on Saturday.

Struggling with a poor first serve percentage, Zeballos made life difficult for himself, allowing his opponent to set up five break points and convert three of them for a fairly straight forward win.

The Argentine will feel he had his chances, particularly at 3-5 in the first set, when he earned three break points, and again in the fourth game of the second set, when he had two more opportunities to break.

But he couldn't convert any of those chances, and Nadal was ultimately able to wrap up a 6-3, 6-4 victory in one hour and 35 minutes.

Standing between Nadal and the title is Thiem, who was a surprise 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 winner over World No 1 Andy Murray.

The Scot was a break up early in the third set, but Thiem would finish the stronger of the two, as Murray's indifferent clay court form continued.

It will take a very special effort from Thiem to halt Nadal's charge, however. The Spaniard has now won nine consecutive matches on clay and is 19-1 in his past 20 sets.

Saturday's semi-final results

Rafa Nadal (Spain) beat Horacio Zeballos (Argentina) 6-3 6-4     
Dominic Thiem (Austria) beat Andy Murray (Britain) 6-2 3-6 6-4

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