Nishikori, Ferrer into Barcelona SFs

Barcelona, Spain ( – Top seed and defending champion
Kei Nishikori and four-time runner-up David Ferrer of Spain secured berths in
Saturday’s semifinals at the $2.1 million Barcelona Open tennis event.

The 2014 U.S. Open runner-up Nishikori got past seventh-seeded Spaniard
Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 on the red clay at Real Club de Tenis

“I’m really happy with the way I’m playing right now, especially in the third
set,” said Nishikori. “It was a really tough match.”

The Japanese star beat Colombian Santiago Giraldo in last year’s Barcelona
final and also topped the South American in a third-round match here on

Nishikori’s semifinal opponent will be 14th-seeded Slovak and recent
Casablanca champion Martin Klizan, who dismissed ninth-seeded long-time
Spanish favorite Tommy Robredo 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 on Day 5. Robredo titled here in
2004 and was the Barcelona runner-up in 2006.

Meanwhile, a third-seeded Ferrer handled 12th-seeded German Philipp
Kohlschreiber 6-3, 7-6 (7-5).

Ferrer reached finals here in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012, losing to his
stalwart fellow countryman Rafael Nadal each time.

Ferrer’s semifinal opponent will be fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar, who tackled
13th-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini 6-1, 6-3. Fognini shocked Nadal here on

This week’s champ will collect $495,000.