Defending champion Kei Nishikori made his way into the semifinals of the Barcelona Open by holding off Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 Friday.
After the top-seeded Nishikori won the first set easily, Bautista Agut rebounded in the second and got his first break. He then saved three break points in his final service game before using two big serves to force the third set.
Nishikori re-established his ground game to take a 3-1 lead before winning the last three games.
Nishikori will next face either Martin Klizan or Tommy Robredo.