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ATP Barcelona - Rafael Nadal vs. Milos Raonic (15:00 BST)

Crunch Sports Staff in Tennis 27 Apr 2013
Rafael Nadal (credit: David Ramos/Getty Images)

Rafael Nadal takes on Milos Raonic this afternoon in the semi-finals of the 2013 Open Banco Sabadell in Barcelona (15:00 BST start).

Nadal has made light work of every opponent that he's faced this week in Spain, but he'll be aware that Raonic can make his job a difficult one if he serves to the best of his abilities.

Nadal hasn't looked in trouble in his bid for an eighth ATP Barcelona title yet. Even when faced with a double-header on Friday, the Spaniard showed no sign of weakness. He began on Friday with a 7-6 6-2 ousting of a determined Benoit Paire, before putting on a clinic for Albert Ramos as he coasted to victory, 6-3 6-0.

Raonic also needed to pull two wins out of the bag on Friday, and a bigger effort was required. He started by taking out an in-form Ernests Gulbis 6-2 7-6, and backed this up by getting through a nail-biting clash with another of the ATP's resurgent talents, Tommy Robredo. The veteran Spaniard came within two points of glory, but couldn't hold Raonic back from a 6-7 6-3 7-6 win.

Looking ahead to this afternoon's clash there's a chance that we'll see Nadal get tested here. Even so, this hinges on Raonic producing his A-game. Although the rocket server is a little more nimble than many of the giants who share a similar playing style, we've seen certain players make him look distinctly average when a rally breaks out. The Canadian will need to keep the points as short as possible here, or else he's likely to get cut down to size pretty quickly.


Prediction: Nadal in three.


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ATP Barcelona - Rafael Nadal vs. Milos Raonic (15:00 BST)

Rafael Nadal takes on Milos Raonic this afternoon in the semi-finals of the 2013 Open Banco Sabadell in Barcelona (15:00 BST start).

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