• Nadal, Raonic battle in Barcelona semifinal

    4/26/13 9:21 PM | Kelli DeMario
    Nadal, Raonic battle in Barcelona semifinal World No. 5 Rafael Nadal remains on course to reach another final in Barcelona, as he takes on fellow seed Milos Raonic. The players are set to contest their third career meeting in Saturday's semifinal.

    Defending champion Rafael Nadal holds a 2-0 series edge against 5th seed Milos Raonic. Saturday signals their first meeting on clay.

    Nadal is through to the semifinal after winning back-to-back matches on Friday. The 26-year-old, who looks to win an eighth title in Barcelona, won his quarterfinal match over countryman Albert Ramos in straight sets, 6-3, 6-0.

    Nadal is seeking his 77th career ATP World Tour final berth.

    Raonic made the last four following his quarterfinal victory over former World No. 5 Tommy Robredo. The 22-year-old rallied to seal his second win of the day on Friday, 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(2).

    Raonic will attempt to reach his 8th career final on Saturday.

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#Vamos Rafa

nadline , 4/27/13 8:06 AM

Really do not know why Kellie Demario refer Rafa as World No.5 which is a deceptive position - Could have referred to as defending champion. Unfortunately, we have to put up with this reference until Wimbledon is over!!

velliat53 , 4/27/13 9:42 AM

^^^Not only that, but it seems that many tennis writers are obsessed with Rafa's age. Everyone knows he is 26, so what? We don't have to be reminded EVERY TIME Rafa is mentioned.

nadline , 4/27/13 10:05 AM

This his hardly a preview. It doesn't say anything about how they will match up against each other because of their strengths and weaknesses on this surface, their styles or anything.

nadline , 4/27/13 10:15 AM

The trouble is that most commentators are like sheep. Once one comes up with a tag line all the others seem to follow suit. It makes you laugh when almost in the same breath they will talk about a 23 or 24 year old as up and coming!

I guess it won't be long before they start referring to Rafa as entering the twilight of his career.

ed251137 , 4/27/13 10:22 AM

Tennis seems to dwell a lot on age. Who knows how old Messi is? No one refers to Beckham as the 37 year old footballer or Lewis Hamilton as the 28 year old F1 driver or Tiger Woods as the 37 year old golfer or Husain Bolt as the 26 year old sprinter.

nadline , 4/27/13 10:30 AM

Weather forecast pretty dismal. Cold and damp at the best.

ed251137 , 4/27/13 10:30 AM

Oh, by the way, Alonso is 31, is case you were wondering.

nadline , 4/27/13 10:35 AM

It's raining in Barcelona

nadline , 4/27/13 1:37 PM

I bet Raonic is happy.

chr18 , 4/27/13 1:55 PM

Looks like Rafa is playing Basel this year and with Fed's lacklustre play this year looks like punchbag season will also be indoors this year.


Conspirator , 4/27/13 2:44 PM

Play will start soon with Rafa/Milos first on Ct Centrale and the othe SF has been moved to Ct 1.

nadline , 4/27/13 4:49 PM

i do not think raonic can benefit from wet clay..his serve becomes less effective in these conditions and we know how much he relies on his serve... rafa is playing decent...well enough to put away raonic in 2 sets

vamosrafa , 4/27/13 6:12 PM

1st set Rafa 6:4

nadline , 4/27/13 6:22 PM

vintage rafa..he is creating a mockery out of milo's serve...i want a bagel !!

vamosrafa , 4/27/13 6:47 PM

firing on all cylinders ! defended well..attacked well and I liked the backhand too :) rafa was returning from sooo deep behind the baseline ..but a good tactic for him against raonic here

vamosrafa , 4/27/13 6:52 PM

Rafa wins - 64 60 and wiped the smile off the face of chr19.

#Vamos Rafa
#just can say

nadline , 4/27/13 6:54 PM

rafa served well too ! 54th title is on its way ! vamos !

vamosrafa , 4/27/13 6:54 PM

That was a pretty awesome performance from rafa. He looked very pleased with his form at the end of the match. Big step forward.

willmw101 , 4/27/13 6:55 PM

return of serves were fantastic today, hit high and deep giving Raonic little time to get among the points


rafakid , 4/27/13 6:59 PM

The smile is bigger than ever nadline. It's in anticipation of a Nadal/Rosol rematch but this time on clay. :-)

chr18 , 4/27/13 7:00 PM

Great performance...Idont think Raonic was serving as well as he cud. But not taking anything away from Rafa....the best part was the backhand.

atul1985 , 4/27/13 7:02 PM

Excuse me, atul, Raonic WAS serving as well as he's ever done!

nadline , 4/27/13 7:04 PM

Hehehehe, chr18 stayed up hoping to see Raonic give Rafa a hard time with his so-called big serve. Rafa served him a bagel, did you see that chr18? Now you are flaying around looking for Rosol!!!

On to another final!!

Vamos Rafa!!

rafaisthebest , 4/27/13 7:05 PM

chr19, just imagine if it was a hot sunny day.................

nadline , 4/27/13 7:07 PM

rafa's road to the finals in barca has been better than his road to the MC final..he was struggling a lot in MC even before the final...almost lost to baby fed and oh boy he almsot dropped a set leading 5-1 against tsonga ! He is certainly getting better....marching toward the insurmountable form he has possess :) vamosssss!

vamosrafa , 4/27/13 7:09 PM

Rafa neutralised his serve because he was returning them with interest.

nadline , 4/27/13 7:10 PM

I don't think Raonic wants to see his name anywhere Rafa in a draw ever again.

nadline , 4/27/13 7:13 PM

No excuses, Raonic was out-classed. Rafa moved him around the court in the 1st set, so much so that Raonic was tired out in the 2nd. But that is part of the game, you gotta have stamina to hang with the big boys, especially those who've been out of the game for 7 months!

Rafa's confidence slowly coming back......

rafaisthebest , 4/27/13 7:15 PM

People scoffed at yesterday's bagel against Ramos saying he is a mediocre player, can they say the same about Raonic?

Please tennis Gods, Bring on Rosol in Rafa's quarter on clay, his turn to munch on some bakery products................


rafaisthebest , 4/27/13 7:20 PM

Raonic has undoubtedly learnt a lot today about his game.

1. He may not have the game for clay court like he does for grass/hard.
2. Hes not ready to take on the likes of Nadal
3. He shouldn't rely on his serve too much cus that bagel was a statement from rafa.

but in saying that, for a Canadian, quite like american players, getting to a semi on clay is surely a bonus and a massive achievement. Robredo was no easy opponent in the quarters so onwards and upwards for milos for the rest of the clay season

rafakid , 4/27/13 7:27 PM

Rafa has to stop dropping his first service game or I'll take his play station away.

nadline , 4/27/13 7:27 PM

nadline, at the best of times Rafa always starts slowly that is why he prefers to receive first so that he works his way into the match through the opponent's service game. Today, and yesterday in the morning, the players did not have an opportunity to warm up because of the bad weather, they just came straight from the locker room onto the court so you can understand why it took Rafa longer to warm up. Normally he plays a 30-40 minute warm up game before a match.

rafaisthebest , 4/27/13 7:37 PM

At this rate, it looks like the burden of stopping Rafa, on any surface, lies on Novak's shoulders........

rafaisthebest , 4/27/13 7:41 PM

And Raonic has a case for feeling hard done by Laryhani who gave Rafa a time delay warning early on in the 1st set, which made Rafa mad. Rafa always plays/concentrates better when he is mad.......ask Berdy.

rafaisthebest , 4/27/13 7:46 PM

These rain delays are playing havoc with my recordings! I got to see the first set, but will have to wait for the replay to see that second set.

Rafa is going to have to lose this business of getting broken in his first service game. That won't do against Almagro. However, I think this is the best Rafa has played so far in the tournament. I saw more depth and penetration in his groundstrokes and fewer missed shots. He's still not there yet, but definitely getting better the more he plays. I thought his ROS was much better in this match.

Raonic just isn't as comfortable on clay. I think it exposes his poor movement and lack of good volleying at net. Even his serve isn't as dominant as on hard court. He did well to get to the semis here, but Rafa seemed to just take control of this match in the middle of the first set and never looked back.

I remember how tough that semifinal match was in Acapulco. I am expecting Rafa to be ready for Almagro and play even better.

Nativenewyorker , 4/27/13 9:34 PM

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