Rafael Nadal Wins 500th Match

Rafael Nadal notched his 500th career victory on Saturday as the world no.1 dispatched Ivan Dodig in their semifinal encounter, 6-3, 6-2, at the 2011 Barcelona Open.

Nadal is the second-youngest player to reach the 500-win plateau at 24 years and 10 months. The youngest player to achieve the mark is the legendary Bjorn Borg, who won his 500th match at the age of 23 years and seven months.

Nadal’s victory puts him on track to win his second-straight title following his conquest last week at the Monte Carlo Open. The win Saturday was the 33rd-straight on clay for the Spanish star, who won this tournament from 2005 to 2009. Nadal failed to defend his title last year due to injury. Standing in the way of Nadal’s sixth Barcelona trophy is compatriot David Ferrer, who defeated Nicolas Almagro, 6-3, 6-4, in an all-Spanish final. It will be the second meeting in a final in as many weeks for Nadal and Ferrer, who also clashed at Monte Carlo last weekend.

UPDATE: Watch the 2011 French Open live online here.