The Barcelona Open is close to its conclusion and it will all come down to Dominic Thiem and Rafael Nadal fighting for the title, in a duel between the undisputed king of clay and a man many believe might be next in line to dominate the surface.
The first semi saw a titanic battle between Thiem and the World #1 Andy Murray, which lasted almost three hours and featured one amazing rally after another. Thiem dominated early on and had chances to go a break up in the second set, but Murray fought back with some great tennis of his own to force a decider. The third set saw momentum change constantly and it ended with an incredible match point to give Thiem the win in a battle of two men who could well face again deep in Roland Garros in a little over a month. Thiem came out of the match an upset winner, 6-2 3-6 6-4.
In the second semifinal match, Horacio Zeballos put up a bigger fight than expected, hit a lot of great shots and had his chances but ultimately Nadal was simply too tough and booked an incredible 10th final appearance at the tournament final. Nadal again winning without dropping a set 6-3 6-4.
Ahead of the final, both players declared themselves excited for the challenge. Nadal is the clear favorite, but Thiem will relish the challenge and on his day on clay he can take on anyone and he has shown it before. The crowd will be hoping to see a 10th Nadal title but there’s still one huge obstacle left in his way. Nadal and Thiem have met three times before; Nadal leads the head-to-head 2-1, but they split meetings last year.