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Nadal, Murray move into Barcelona semis

Last updated on: April 29, 2017 00:23 IST

Rafael Nadal had to work hard to go past South Korea's Chung Hyeon at the Barcelona Open on Friday

IMAGE: Rafael Nadal had to work hard to go past South Korea's Chung Hyeon at the Barcelona Open on Friday. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal survived a difficult start to see off Chung Hyeon of South Korea in straight sets and reach the semi-finals of the Barcelona Open for a 10th time on Friday.

The unseeded Chung, 20, went 3-1 up against the 14-time Grand Slam champion in the first set on the newly renamed Rafa Nadal Court at the Real Tennis Club and forced a tie-break, which the Spaniard eventually won with little trouble.

The newly crowned Monte Carlo Masters champion made light work of the second set, rounding off a 7-6(1), 6-2 victory in the Barcelona sunshine with an ace to set up a semi-final against either Russia's Karen Khachanov or Argentine Horacio Zeballos on Saturday.

"I have to be honest, I had hardly seen him play, all I had to go on were videos which I watched yesterday," Nadal said of the little-known Chung.

"These young players have a lot of character so I took to the court with respect, perhaps too much, but in the second set I started dominating."

Nadal has won every semi-final he has played in the Barcelona Open, where he is chasing a 10th title.

Andy Murray

IMAGE: Andy Murray. Photograph: Al Bello/Getty Images

Earlier, World No 1 Andy Murray was forced to dig deep to overcame Albert Ramos-Vinolas 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(4) and reach the Barcelona Open semi-finals on Friday, avenging his defeat by the Spaniard in the Monte Carlo Masters last week.

Briton Murray was overpowered by Ramos-Vinolas in the first set and had to saved three breaks points in the ninth game of the second before tying the match. He then lost his first service game in the third set.

Ramos-Vinolas took a few minutes rest in the final set to shake off muscle discomfort, after each player had broken, but was again unable to seize the chance to see off the number one seed, who came out stronger to win the tiebreak.

Murray will play Dominic Thiem on Saturday after the Austrian booked his place in the last four earlier on Friday by easing past Yuichi Sugita of Japan 6-1, 6-2.

Nine-time Barcelona Open champion Rafael Nadal meets South Korea's Hyeon Chung later on Friday to set up a semi-final with wither Russia's Karen Khachanov or Argentine Horacio Zeballos. 

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