ThrowbackTimes Barcelona: Rafael Nadal bagels David Goffin to reach final



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ThrowbackTimes Barcelona: Rafael Nadal bagels David Goffin to reach final

World no. 1 and the defending Barcelona champion Rafael Nadal was on a steady course towards another title at one of his favorite tournaments in Barcelona 2018 after a dominant 6-4, 6-0 triumph over the 4th seed David Goffin in an hour and 22 minutes.

Nadal was through to his 113th ATP final and his 11th here in Barcelona from 14 arrivals, never losing a title match at this ATP 500 event and winning 57 out of 60 encounters there! Also, Rafa claimed staggering 44 straight sets on his beloved clay since the Roland Garros 2017, extending his dominance and hoping to shift that form onto Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros as well.

Victory over Goffin secured another milestone for Nadal who earned his 400th ATP win on clay in just 435 matches, which is a mind-blowing fact that will never be matched in the future. It was the fourth meeting between the Spaniard and the Belgian and the third win for Nadal, all on clay, overcoming the last year's defeat in a mighty close match at the World Tour Finals.

Rafa played his best match since the start of the tournament, hitting 25 winners with just eight unforced errors and dropping only 11 points in eight service games. David did manage to break him once but that wasn't enough to keep him safe since he lost 55% of the points in his games, playing against 11 break chances and dropping serve five times.

Nothing suggested it could be a one-sided match, with a break for Goffin in the opening game of the encounter before Rafa settled into a nice rhythm on serve after that, never facing another deuce to keep the pressure on the other side of the net.

The Spaniard got the break back at love in game four and sealed the set with another one at 5-4 that gave him full control over the scoreboard. David faded from the court in set number two, winning just 13 points overall to drop all six games and hit the exit door in his first semi-final since that eye injury he suffered in the same round of Rotterdam in February.

The match kicked off unexpectedly, as Nadal lost four points in a row to give his serve away after a backhand error, pulling it back three games later with a forehand winner that secured a break at love for him and a boost of confidence.

The Spaniard was the better player in the rest of the set and the opener was in his hands when David sprayed a forehand error in game ten after 49 minutes, hoping for more of the same in the rest of the clash. There was only one player on the court in the second set and David was far from that pace, taking just two points on the return in three games and dropping serve on all three occasions to suffer a bagel and propel Rafa through.

Nadal broke in game two with a forehand crosscourt winner, securing another one at 3-0 after a double fault from the Belgian. The sixth game was the longest one of the match and David wasted three game points before Nadal converted his third match point after a forehand error from his rival to reach his 11th Barcelona final.