Raonic falls to Ferrer in Barcelona Open semis
Published Saturday, April 28, 2012 3:09PM EDT
BARCELONA, Spain - Milos Raonic's run at the Barcelona Open is over.
The hard-serving Canadian fell 7-6 (2), 7-6 (5) to David Ferrer on Saturday as the Spaniard advanced to his fourth final at the tournament.
The third-seeded Ferrer will face either six-time champion Rafael Nadal or 2010 winner Fernando Verdasco in Sunday's final.
"I'm very happy to make my fourth final," Ferrer said. "I have a special relationship with this tournament. I hope I can fulfil my dream of finally winning here."
The 21-year-old Raonic, ranked 25th in the world, hit 15 aces against Ferrer, displaying the same massive serve that led to his upset of Andy Murray in the quarter-finals.
But Ferrer, sixth in the ATP rankings, worked his Canadian opponent around the red-clay court with well placed ground strokes and proved the better finisher in the two tiebreakers.
Down 3-1 in the second-set tiebreaker, the sixth-ranked Ferrer fought back and claimed the match in just over two hours with a superb return that clipped the sideline.
"It was very difficult to beat him," said the 30-year-old Ferrer, who beat Raonic three times last season. "We both had our chances. It was a question of winning or losing the key points."
Ferrer, who has won three titles already this season, has lost the three previous finals here to Nadal.
Raonic, who grew up in Thornhill, Ont., was bidding for a breakthrough after a positive week in the city where trains with Spanish coach Galo Blanco.
Meanwhile in doubles, Toronto's Daniel Nestor and partner Max Mirnyi of Belarus lost in the semifinals to Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski 6-3, 0-6, 10-6 of Poland.