BARCELONA, April 28, 2017
Three of the top four seeds competed in Friday’s quarterfinals at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell led by Andy Murray, who gained revenge over Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
Eight days ago in the third round at ATP Masters 1000 Monte-Carlo, the Spaniard rallied from an 0-4 third set deficit to beat the World No. 1 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 en route to the final. This time, however, Murray was more effective converting all of his three break point chances to secure a 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 in exactly three hours of play.
“It was very similar to the match in Monte-Carlo, except in that match I was the one who had chances there, and today he had more chances to win. I feel like I was a little more aggressive at the end of the second and third sets and then played a good tie-break,” said Murray, who advanced to his first semi-final in Barcelona. “I’m obviously tired, but that’s why it was important for me to get matches, especially ones like today. It’s good physically to have the long ones.”
The 29-year-old Briton will next take on the tournament’s number four Dominic Thiem. The Austrian youngster ended the successful run of Japanese lucky loser Yuichi Sugita, winning 6-1, 6-2. Thiem broke serve six times to advance in only 52 minutes.
Rafael Nadal had to fight hard, in particular in the opening set to beat NextGen star Hyeon Chung of Korea. In the pair’s first tour meeting, the nine time Barcelona champion won 81 per cent of his first service points, winning 7-6, 6-2 in one hour and 44 minutes.
Next up for Nadal will be Horacio Zeballos. The 32-year-old from Argentina beat Karen Khachanov from Russia 6-4, 6-1. Zeballos saved the only break point he faced, capitalizing on three of his own to prevail in one hour and 14 minutes.