Defending champion Kei Nishikori booked a place in the final of the Barcelona Open by sweeping past Slovak Martin Klizan 6-1 6-2.

The top-seeded Japanese next faces Pablo Andujar who scored a surprise 7-6, 6-3 victory over fellow Spaniard and third-seed David Ferrer.

Nishikori, ranked fifth in the world, was superior to Klizan throughout with his decision-making and execution.

"I am excited to be in the final again. Everything was perfect, the win and also the way I was playing," he told reporters.

"I tried to get a lot of spin on the clay but I also played some flat forehands and backhands so as to mix it up."

He is the highest-ranked Asian male in ATP Tour history and is the first to reach a grand slam final, at last year's US Open.

Ferrer, meanwhile, had looked strong on the other side of the draw but an inspired Andujar hit a series of powerful groundstrokes after a slow start and volleyed well at the net.

World number eight Ferrer broke to go 2-0 up in the first set but his opponent, ranked 66th in the world, battled back to take the set to a tiebreak.

Ferrer fell apart at the start of the second set and Andujar cruised through.

Source: AP