What's buzzing:

Giraldo to play Nishikori in Barcelona final

AP - Sports
Giraldo to play Nishikori in Barcelona final
.

View photo

Kei Nishikori of Japan, returns a shot from Roger Federer of Switzerland, at the Sony Open Tennis tournament, Wednesday, March 26, 2014 in Key Biscayne, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -- Santiago Giraldo of Colombia beat Nicolas Almagro 7-5, 6-3 to reach the Barcelona Open final on Saturday, as his Spanish rival suffered a letdown after ousting top-ranked Rafael Nadal.

Giraldo will face fourth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan after he beat Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 6-2, 6-4 in the other semifinal on the red outdoor clay.

Almagro slumped to his first loss in six meetings with Giraldo, a day after one of his biggest wins when he upset eight-time winner Nadal at the Real Club de Tenis.

''Yesterday's game doesn't serve as an excuse,'' Almagro said. ''Giraldo grazed perfection today, above all in the first set, and I couldn't find the answer.''

The unseeded Giraldo will be playing for his first career title on Sunday after he saved six of seven break points and finished the match with an emphatic ace.

''I have always dreamed of reaching the top spots of the ATP ranking and tomorrow is a first step,'' Giraldo said. ''But I am staying calm. I will keep to my routine and tomorrow will be a day to enjoy and play the best tennis I can.''

Giraldo prevailed in a match that featured several long rallies by proving more precise with his long groundstrokes.

The first set was heading for a tiebreaker until Giraldo snatched it away by breaking Almagro's last service game when he swatted a forehand return by the feet of the last year's finalist.

Almagro got an early break in the second set, but Giraldo won it right back and took control as Almagro's nerves frayed with the match slipping away.

''He believed more in his tennis, in how he had to play, and he barely made any mistakes,'' Almagro said. ''I committed errors when I could have gone in front. That was the key.''

Earlier, Nishikori's faster movement overcame Gulbis' big serve.

Down a set, ninth-seeded Gulbis saved seven break points in the second before finally ceding his serve and losing the match.

Nishikori will be seeking his second title of the season and fifth in his career.

View Comments (24)
  • 3 tell of gruesome injuries, death at Boston Marathon

    A woman who lost a leg in the Boston Marathon bombing described feeling as if she were in a horror movie: wounded people all around her, including someone covered with soot, dazed and ''walking around like a zombie.'' At the federal death penalty … More »

    AP - Sports - 10 minutes ago
  • Ciganda shoots 66, shares lead with Park

    Ciganda shoots 66, shares lead with Park

    Carlota Ciganda shot a 6-under 66 on Friday to move into a tie for the lead with Inbee Park after the second round of the HSBC Women's Champions. Ciganda offset a pair of bogeys with eight birdies at Sentosa Golf Club to finish even with Park (69) … More »

    AP - Sports - 14 minutes ago
  • AB is the Neo of the cricketing world: Steyn

    AB is the Neo of the cricketing world: Steyn

    South Africa captain AB de Villiers' batting blitzkriegs in the last two months have been so good that even his own team mates are in awe of them, fast bowler Dale Steyn said on Friday. De Villiers has scored 241 runs in four innings at the … More »

    Reuters - 22 minutes ago
  • Tennis-Davis Cup world group round 1 Draw

    March 6 (Infostrada Sports) - Draw from the Davis Cup World Group Round 1 matches on Friday Round 1Kazakhstan lead 6-Italy 1- 0 … More »

    Reuters - 30 minutes ago
  • Tennis-Davis Cup world group round 1 Kazakhstan v Italy Fixture

    March 6 (Infostrada Sports) - Fixture from the Davis Cup World Group Round 1 match between Kazakhstan and Italy on Friday Kazakhstan lead 6-Italy 1-0 On FridayMikhail Kukushkin (Kazakhstan) beat Simone Bolelli (Italy) 7-6(6) 6-1 6-2 … More »

    Reuters - 30 minutes ago