Rafael Nadal moved closer to an eighth Barcelona Open title in nine years on Friday when he breezed through two matches to set up a semifinal against Canadian fifth seed Milos Raonic.

Nadal recovered from a slow start on the clay at the Real Club de Tenis to beat Benoit Paire 7-6(2), 6-2 in their delayed third-round match.

After a few hours rest, Nadal returned to centre court to dispatch fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos 6-3, 6-0 for his 37th consecutive Barcelona Open win.

The results: Quarterfinals: Milos Raonic bt Tommy Robredo 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(2); Rafael Nadal bt Albert Ramos 6-3, 6-0; Nicolas Almagro bt Juan Monaco 6-3, 7-5; Philipp Kohlschreiber w/o Thomaz Bellucci.

Third round: Robredo bt Tomas Berdych 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-3; Raonic bt Ernests Gulbis 6-2, 7-6(6); Ramos bt Kei Nishikori 6-4, 7-6(4); Nadal bt Benoit Paire 7-6(2), 6-2; Kohlschreiber bt Martin Klizan 1-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(5). — Agencies

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