Murray and Nadal advance to Barcelona Open semifinals

Argentine Zeballos came with a clear gameplan to attack Nadal early in rallies and, though the tactic made for some thrilling winners, it played nicely into the third seed's hands.

Murray fought hard to beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4).

He said: "It was obviously a very tough match".

Nadal won his 10th Monte Carlo title last weekend.

Andy Murray almost fell for a second time in as many weeks to Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

Murray will next face Austrian fourth seed Dominic Thiem, who defeated Japanese Yuichi Sugita 6-1, 6-2 in 52 minutes.

Ramos-Vinolas had the chance to serve it out when he broke again for 5-4, but nerves seemed to get the better of him as three errors handed Murray the break back.

Rafael Nadal progresses through to the Barcelona Open semi-finals with a hard-fought win over Chung Hyeon.

The Spaniard broke at 4-4 in the decisive set but failed to serve out the match. "It's good physically to have the long ones".

Nadal, seeking his 10th Barcelona title, struggled in the first set but took control of the match after winning the tiebreaker.

Nadal looked set to roll past Zeballos, but he had to save five break points in windy conditions to get the straight-sets win.

"I gave him a bit too much respect", Nadal said.

Nadal raced through the first set, breaking Zeballos to love and conceding only one point on his serve until a mammoth ninth game, in which the world number 84's game suddenly fell nicely into place, forcing Nadal to save three break points before sealing the set.

"Last week I had 4-0 (in the third set), I felt like I had all of the chances".

Nadal's last four opponent will be Argentina's Horacio Zeballos, who was a 6-4 6-1 victor over Karen Khachanov of Russian Federation.

Sugita is the first lucky loser to reach an ATP quarterfinal since Lucas Pouille reached the final four past year in Rome.

  • Julie Sanders