Rafael Nadal is the overwhelming favorite for the Barcelona title with David Ferrer eliminated.
Rafael Nadal is the overwhelming favorite for the Barcelona title with David Ferrer eliminated.
David Ramos/Getty Images

Seven-time winner Rafael Nadal won back-to-back matches to advance to the semifinals of the Barcelona Open on Friday.

After rain forced several third-round matches to be pushed back, Nadal started the day by beating Benoit Paire of France 7-6 (2), 6-2. The fifth-ranked Spaniard then defeated Albert Ramos 6-3, 6-0 after his overmatched opponent had defeated Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-4, 7-6 (4) earlier in the day.

Nadal has won 37 straight matches on the Real Club de Tenis' red clay and is on course to make his sixth straight final this year after returning from a seven-month injury layoff.

He will face either Milos Raonic or Tommy Robredo on Saturday.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.