Rafael Nadal to meet Stefanos Tsitsipas in Barcelona final after 400th clay-court win
Rafael Nadal will face Greek teenager Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday’s Barcelona Open final after claiming his 400th career clay-court victory.
The Spaniard defeated world number 10 David Goffin of Belgium 6-4 6-0.
Tsitsipas, the world number 63, continued the most successful week of his career by beating Spanish fifth seed Pablo Carreno Busta 7-5 6-3.
He becomes the first Greek player to reach an ATP Tour final since Nicholas Kalogeropoulos in Des Moines in 1973.
Nadal, who was coming into the game on the back of 17 consecutive clay-court victories and 42 consecutive sets, lost his first service game to the Belgian, but quickly broke back to recover his composure and went on to ease to victory.
His way to an 11th title in the Spanish city is blocked by 19-year-old Tsistipas, who has yet to drop a set at the tournament and is the youngest Barcelona finalist since Nadal in 2005.
After defeating world number seven Dominic Thiem on Friday, he served five aces and won 78% of first serves to see off his Spanish rival in one hour 35 minutes.
Whatever the result of Sunday’s final, he will become the first Greek player to break into the world’s top 50 when the latest men’s rankings are released on Monday.