Nadal books 4th straight Barcelona final

Barcelona, May 3:

Rafael Nadal crushed a minor annoyance in the form of Denis Gremelmayr as the king of clay hammered out a 6-1, 6-0 victory on Saturday to reach a fourth straight final at the Barcelona Open.

Nadal gave his outclassed number 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.

Nadal achieved another day of near-perfection on his home clay as he won his 20th match at the venue where he suffered his only loss as a teenager in 2003. The three-time Roland Garros champion will play for his second clay trophy in as many weeks.

The 50-minute rout lasted less time than a typical Nadal training session. Nadal has set a tall order for himself to defend all four of the clay crowns he collected last year. Barcelona victory would put him halfway there, with Rome next week and the French Open to follow.

Gremelmayr won his first service game then could not compete against Spain’s raging bull. Nadal won 16 of 18 points on his serve in the first set on his way to sweeping the last 11-games.

With home tennis in full flow with locals winning six of the last seven editions, should Ferrer also reach the title match, it would mark the third all-Spanish final here in the past four years.