Mon, May 05, 2008 - Page 18 News List

Nadal, Ferrer set up all-Spanish final at Barcelona Open

RAFA RAMPANTRafael Nadal claimed 50 of the 65 points contested in his semi-final showdown against German world No. 85 Denis Gremelmayr

AFP , BARCELONA, SPAIN

Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer guaranteed that a Spaniard would triumph for a sixth straight year in yesterday’s Barcelona Open final after both leading seeds won on Saturday.

Nadal stormed to victory in 51 minutes, crushing the life out of German underdog Denis Gremelmayr 6-1, 6-0 in a haze of shotmaking and controlled aggression.

Ferrer, seeded second, needed almost two hours to get past persistent Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6 (10-8), 6-3.

“Today I tried to be focused,” said Nadal, 20-1 at the Real club and winner of the last three editions. “Even with a big lead I didn’t want to lose concentration.”

“I wanted to prepare well for the match tomorrow. I knew Gremelmayr had a good clay season so I went onto the court with a lot of respect,” he said. “I only concentrated on focusing and playing my game.”

Nadal gave his outclassed No. 85 opponent a harsh schooling a fortnight after Roger Federer also beat the 26-year-old in an Estoril semi-final.

On that occasion, the German took a set off the startled Swiss on heavy, wet clay.

Nadal, by contrast, achieved another day of near-perfection at the venue where he suffered his only loss as a teenager in 2003 against Alex Corretja.

The top seed claimed 50 of the 65 points, leaving the scraps to the outclassed German.

Nadal is aiming to defend all four of the clay honors he collected last spring and stands one-for-one after Monte Carlo.

He also won Barcelona, Rome and Paris last year, while losing the Hamburg final to Federer.

Gremelmayr’s only successful moment came as he held serve on his first try; then it was all over as Nadal put on a master class.

Ferrer needed 73 minutes alone to claim the first set against Wawrinka.

The Spaniard saved a set point and claimed the set on his fourth chance. He broke in the fifth game and eighth games of the second set on his way to the win.

Ferrer will be bidding for his second trophy of the season and sixth overall after winning Valencia last month.

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