Rome Masters - Nadal books Rome final place
Rafael Nadal booked his place in the Rome Masters final with a 7-6 6-0 win over fellow Spaniard David Ferrer.
In a match of contrasts, Nadal took nearly an hour and a half to win the opener, before blowing Ferrer into the weeds in a 40-minute second set.
Sixth-seed Ferrer started the match more strongly, hitting the ball crisply on both sides and getting over 70% of his first serves in.
However, it was a set of missed chances, as Ferrer failed to convert any of six break points in Nadal's opening service game.
The break finally came at the ninth time of asking, as Ferrer took a 3-1 lead, but immediately surrendered the advantage as Nadal broke back easily to love.
Gradually, the world number two hit his stride, even though Ferrer won eight of the first 11 rallies of 10-plus shots.
Unsurprisingly, the tie-break went the distance, and mirrored the set - Ferrer taking the first mini-break, but losing his edge and letting his opponent back in. Nadal won the breaker 8-6.
The second set had no such drama, as Nadal simply blew his increasingly error-prone adversary away. It was virtually flawless stuff from the clay-court legend, who won 32 of 48 second-set points.
Nadal faces Novak Djokovic in Sunday's final.