‘Clay debutant’ Nishikori sets up Barcelona Open final meeting with Santiago Giraldo

Johannesburg, Apr 27: Japanese ace Kei Nishikori, who is playing for the first time in clay, will meet Colombian player Santiago Giraldo in the finals of the Barcelona Open following their respective semi-final victories on Saturday.

Nishikori, playing for the first time on clay under new coach and former French Open champion Michael Chang, continued his fine form this season with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Latvian Ernests Gulbis.

According to Sport24, Giraldo beat eight-time Barcelona champion Rafael Nadal’s conqueror Nicolas Almagro 7-5, 6-3 to reach just his second ever ATP final in an hour and 26 minutes.

Although Almagro had described his win over Nadal, an eight-time champion in Barcelona, on Friday as possibly a turning point in his career, he was unable to find the same form against the world number 65 and fell due to a slew of missed opportunities, the report added. (ANI)