Rafael Nadal stepped up his bid for a 12th Barcelona Open title with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Cameron Norrie in the quarter-finals on Friday, while Stefanos Tsitsipas will play Jannik Sinner in the last four.
Nadal, who captured his first Barcelona title as an 18-year-old at the 2005 tournament, will face Diego Schwartzman or Pablo Carreno Busta in Saturday’s semi-finals.
Top seed Nadal broke world number 58 Norrie twice in both sets for his second win of the year over the Briton, having also defeated him in straight sets in the third round of the Australian Open.
Monte Carlo champion Tsitsipas swept aside Felix Auger-Aliassime, the Canadian who recently teamed up with Toni Nadal, the uncle and former coach of the 20-time Grand Slam winner.
Tsitsipas, fresh off his first Masters 1000 crown last week, extended his winning run to eight matches with a 6-3, 6-3 victory.
“It feels good to be able to play the way I am. I really hope the winning streak continues,” said the Greek second seed.
Italian 19-year-old Jannik Sinner became the event’s youngest semi-finalist since Nadal in 2005 after overcoming Monte Carlo runner-up Andrey Rublev 6-2, 7-6 (8/6).
“I am trying to get better every week,” Sinner said, ranked 19th in the world.
“He (Rublev) has played many, many matches already this year and I tried to play my tennis.”
“It was difficult to finish it off. I had three break points at 5-5 (in the second set), which I could not convert, but I’m pleased to win in the end,” he added.