Nishikori cruises into third Barcelona Open final

 23 Apr 2016 - 17:07

Nishikori cruises into third Barcelona Open final
Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori returns the ball to French tennis player Benoit Paire during the ATP Barcelona Open "Conde de Godo" tennis tournament in Barcelona on April 23, 2016. Nishikori won 3-6, 2-6. / AFP / JOSEP LAGO

Barcelona: Defending champion Kei Nishikori eased into his third consecutive Barcelona Open final with a 6-3, 6-2 win over French sixth seed Benoit Paire on Saturday.

The Japanese world number six has yet to drop a set in the Catalan capital this week and could face a mouthwatering clash with Rafael Nadal in Sunday's final if the 14-time Grand Slam champion can overcome Philipp Kohlschreiber in Saturday's other semi-final.

"I love Barcelona, I'm very comfortable playing this tournament. It's been great this three years and I hope I can play a very good match tomorrow," Nishikori told Spanish TV station Teledeporte.

"I'll try to watch a little bit (of the other semi-final) maybe not the whole thing, but I hope to take something from today's match and prepare for tomorrow."

Paire had beaten Nishikori in their two most recent meetings in Nishikori's homeland in Tokyo and in a five-set thriller at the US Open last year.

However, Nishikori rarely looked troubled after breaking to lead 3-2 before a second break sealed the first set 6-3.

Both players struggled on serve early in the second, but three breaks in the first four games put Nishikori 3-1 in front and he went on to seal his 14th straight win in Barcelona in just over an hour on court.