ATP Barcelona Semi-Final Predictions: Nadal-Raonic, Kohlschreiber-Almagro

1.Rafael Nadal v Milos Raonic
Philipp Kohlschreiber
The one thing I have managed to predict correctly this week was Milos Raonic repeating his 2012 semi-final run in Barcelona.  Raonic had an excellent day as he took out the in-form Ernests Gulbis, saving a set point in the second set breaker to win, 6-2 7-6(6).  He then stood strong to snap Tommy Robredo‘s winning streak with a hard fought quarter-final win, 6-7(5) 6-3 7-6(2).  Raonic now faces the ultimate clay court challenge with Rafael Nadal standing in the way of a final place.  Nadal defeated Benoit Paire and Albert Ramos in straight sets today and it really has been business as usual.  Nadal has posted two straight set wins over Raonic in Tokyo back in 2010 and 2011, but they have never played on clay.  I fancy Raonic to give Nadal a real run for his money, but a set is the best Milos can hope for…

Prediction – Nadal to beat Raonic in 2 very tight sets

2. Philipp Kohlschreiber v Nicolas Almagro
As David Ferrer fell in the second round of the tournament, a plum opportunity arises for both Philipp Kohlschreiber and Nicolas Almagro to make the final.  Kohlschreiber had had a pretty rough year to date if you take away a run to the final in his first tournament in Auckland; things have gone his way this week though, with a gritty win over Martin Klizan in the quarters coming back from a 6-1 first set blowdown and a quarter-final walkover over the injured, Thomasz Bellucci.  Almagro took out Juan Monaco today, 6-3 7-5 although it was tougher than the scoreline suggested as Monaco blew all ten break points he earnt in the match.  Almagro edges the head-to-head by 4 wins to 3; I think this will be a very close match with Kohlschreiber a great player on his day.  Still, on home soil, I am backing Almagro…

Prediction – Almagro to beat Kohlschreiber in 3 sets

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