• Barcelona Open

Almagro ends Nadal's Barcelona domination

ESPN staff
April 25, 2014
Nadal never looked in control against Almagro, even after taking the first set © AP

Rafael Nadal's 11-year, 41-match unbeaten streak at the Barcelona Open is over after sixth seed Nicolas Almagro came from a set down to beat the world No.1 for the first time in 10 attempts.

Nadal cruised through the first set, but Almagro edged a tense tie-break in the second - Nadal's first dropped set in this competition since the final in 2008 against David Ferrer.

Nadal has not looked confident in this tournament as he tentatively continues his comeback from a back injury that first flared up in the Australian Open final in January.

And so it showed in the third set, as Almagro dominated from the baseline to complete a 2-6 7-6 6-4 victory.

Nadal's previous defeat in this event was in 2003 when he was beaten in the second round by Alex Carretja. He missed the 2004 and 2010 editions and has won every other since.

Alamagro will play Santiago Giraldo in the last four after Philipp Kohlschreiber was forced to retire with the score at 6-4 4-3.

The other semi-final will be contested by fourth seed Kei Nishikori, who brushed aside Marin Cilic 6-1 6-3, and Ernests Gulbis, who made similarly light work of Teymuraz Gabashvili in a 6-1 6-4 victory.

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