Bedene into Budapest final, Murray out in Barcelona SFs

epa05937627 Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates with the trophy after winning against Dominic Thiem from Austria during the final match of the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, Trofeo Conde de Godo, in Barcelona, Spain, 30 April 2017.

The Spaniard won 6-4, 6-1 yesterday, a week after lifting an Open era-record 10th crown at the Monte Carlo Masters.

The title, Nadal's 51st on clay and 71st overall, moves him back into a tie with Roger Federer for most outdoor titles (69), and ahead of Federer for the most ATP 500 titles (18).

"It's a dream start to the claycourt season".

Murray, who went out in the third round at Monte Carlo last week, was happy enough with his performances in Barcelona.

The world number nine dropped his first set of the tournament against world number one Andy Murray, who was participating in Barcelona for the first time since 2012. The Spanish tennis superstar takes the finals match 6-4, 6-1.

"He was hitting to my backhand and I couldn't really come out of it", Thiem commented.

Budapest victor Lucas Pouille of France moves into a career-best 14th position as 20-year-old Russian Karen Khachanov soars 14 places to 42nd after reaching the Barcelona quarter-finals. The former Roland Garros semi-finalist profited from some mistimed forehands from the Briton and some lacklustre serving throughout as the Austrian scored his first win over the current Wimbledon champion.

Murray squeezed past Albert Ramos-Vinolas in a three-hour encounter on Friday and looked flat-footed as Thiem roared through the opening set with three breaks of serve in just over half an hour.

"It was hard. I was having a few more chances than him but it was very even and that is why I celebrated with so much energy at the end".

He is one of the best in the world, and he loves clay.

It is Nadal's tenth career ATP singles title at the tournament.

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

However, before Nadal can think about claiming his second title on the European clay courts in 2017, he will face, fourth seed Dominic Thiem in the final.

  • Julie Sanders