World number two Rafael Nadal crashed out of the Barcelona Open after going down fighting against third-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria in the semi-finals of the tournament on Saturday evening.
Nadal, who had never lost a semi-final clash in Barcelona, failed to continue his rich vein of form in the tournament so far and was stunned by Thiem 4-6, 4-6 in a men's singles clash that lasted a little over two hours.
With the win, Thiem not only ended Nadal's hopes of clinching his record 12th title at this tournament but has also become only the second player after Novak Djokovic to have defeated the Spaniard four times on clay.
Had Nadal sealed a victory over Thiem, he would have had a chance to equal Martina Navratilova's tournament record of winning 12 times.
Meanwhile, Thiem will now lock horns with 23-year-old Daniil Medvedev, who defeated world number seven Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 to storm into his first clay-court final.
Heading into the clash, Thiem said that though Medvedev is in the best shape of his life, he would definitely like to see his name in the winners' list of this tournament.
“It's such a traditional tournament. I loved to play the finals here two years ago, and of course I try to go one step further tomorrow. But Daniil is I think in the best shape of his life. If I see the names of who won here, this tournament, of course I would love to be there as well," the Association of Tennis Professionals quoted Thiem as saying.
Notably, Thiem leads the ATP Head-to-Head rivalry against Medvedev by 1-0 after a three-set win at the St Petersburg Open last year.