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'I have to continue to improve,' says Rafael Nadal after powering past Cameron Norrie

Rafael Nadal at Monte Carlo Masters

Rafael Nadal says he was 'happy with how he has improved' after reaching his first semi-final of the season in Barcelona.

Nadal has played relatively little tennis so far this year, appearing in just the Australian Open and the Monte-Carlo Masters before this current tournament.

Both of those campaigns were ended at the quarterfinal stage, but he has gone one better this time around after beating Cameron Norrie 6-1, 6-4.

"I think I played a good first set, with intensity and taking advantage with the right.

"In the second set, I did not play with the same intensity and I suffered at the end. Cameron does not make you feel comfortable on court and it is not easy to play against someone like him. "

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"The reality is that I am in the semi-finals for the first time this year. I am happy with how I have improved and I have to continue to improve tomorrow.

"Every day I take something positive and today I have won in two sets. It is a process and I accept that challenge. I am a person who tests myself every day."

Nadal could face 19-year-old sensation Jannik Sinner in the finals after the Italian produced a superb win over Andrey Rublev. Nadal, though, says that shouldn't have surprised anyone who has seen him.

"I haven't seen the quarterfinal with Rublev," he said. "It's not a surprise Jannik beat Andrey. Rublev's tennis doesn't bother him much."

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