Tennis: Nadal in Barcelona Open semi-final with impressive win over Struff

Nadal in action against Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany.
Nadal in action against Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BARCELONA (DPA) - Defending champion Rafael Nadal powered his way to the semi-finals of the Barcelona Open with a 7-5 7-5 win over the German Jan-Lennard Struff on Friday (April 26).

The 11-times winner of the tournament will play the winner of the match between Austrian world number three Dominic Thiem and Argentinian Guido Pella who play later Friday in the final quarter-final.

Both Nadal and Struff held to love in their opening service game but Nadal broke to take a 3-1 lead.

Struff broke back at 5-4, but Nadal broke Struff to love to win the first set 7-5 in 51 minutes.

The second set looked to heading for a tie-break but serving to avoid defeat Struff double-faulted and went 40-love down.

Struff saved the first match point but Nadal won the game with a brilliant backhand pass down the line.

Saturday's other semi-final will be between Japan's Kei Nishikori and Russia's Daniil Medvedev.

In their Friday quarter-finals Medvedev beat Chile's Nicolas Jarry 6-3, 6-4 and Nishikori beat Spain's Roberto Carballes 6-4, 7-5.