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Nishikori, Gulbis Power Into Barcelona SFs

Barcelona, Spain

Watch Friday highlights, including wins by Nishikori and Almagro.

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Fourth seed Kei Nishikori will play ninth seed Ernests Gulbis on Saturday in the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell semi-finals.

“Gulbis is a tough opponent,” said Nishikori. “He has a big serve and forehand, so it will be a really tough match. I have had two good matches and I am confident as well. It will be a good match.”

Nishikori struck 18 winners past No. 12 seed Marin Cilic to record his 20th match win of 2014. Nishikori, who beat Cilic at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp in January, won 6-1, 6-3 to advance to the semi-finals in Barcelona for the first time.

Gulbis advanced to his third ATP World Tour semi-final (or better) this season on Friday when the ninth seed defeated Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-1, 6-4 in 89 minutes.

"I was a little bit nervous, serving for the match," said Gulbis. "It wasn’t easy, as he played well. I had to play close to my best tennis just to break him."

Kubot, LindstedtNestor/Zimonjic To Play Dodig/Melo In SFs
In their third clash of the season, fifth seeds Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic, who picked up the 2009 and 2010 Barcelona titles, edged past Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi 6-7(7), 7-5, 10-7 in one hour and 40 minutes. Nestor and Zimonjic are attempting to capture their 26th ATP World Tour team title. The pair lifted the Apia Sydney International trophy (d. Bopanna-Qureshi) in January but finished runners up to ‘The Indo-Pak Express’ the following month in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships final.

Third seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo narrowly defeated Lukasz Kubot and Robert Lindstedt (pictured) 2-6, 6-3, 10-7 in 68 minutes for a semi-final clash against Nestor and Zimonjic. Dodig and Melo has a 1-3 record together in title matches.

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