Rafa Nadal produced a stunning second set performance to take Tomas Berdych apart and make the final of the Madrid Masters.
The Spanish superstar was pushed hard on every point in the opening set, but eventually came through a tie-break – pumping his fist extravagantly, and roaring to his home crowd as he did so.
The nature of the set seemed to pump him up and simultaneously deflate Berdych, with Nadal dissecting the Czech’s game in the second set as he ran out a 7-6(4) 6-1 winner.
Nadal will face either Andy Murray or Kei Nishikori in Sunday’s final, with the Scottish second seed taking on the Japanese fourth seed on Saturday evening. “It’s one of the best matches that I’ve played in 2015,” said Nadal. “Madrid helped me a lot last season. I needed to change the dynamics.”
The Mallorcan is the favourite to claim the title after world number one Novak Djokovic decided to miss the event to rest and Roger Federer, who took over from the Serb as top seed, fell to Australian Nick Kyrgios in the second round.
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