Rafael Nadal beat Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych 6-2, 6-4 to reach the Italian Open final on Saturday with a dominant performance that he described as emotional after his long injury absence.
Nadal, who returned to action in February after seven months out with a knee problem, will have the chance to win his sixth title since his comeback when he faces either Roger Federer or Benoit Paire in Sunday's final.
The sport's dominant claycourt player was at his aggressive best in dismantling the heavy hitting Berdych, breaking in the first and fifth games of a one-sided first set before clinching a decisive advantage in the ninth game of the second.
Nadal wrapped it up when his opponent sent a backhand return long and then said he could not have hoped to be playing better after his lengthy layoff.
"I am feeling better physically," the 11-time Grand Slam winner said in an interview with Spanish television broadcaster Teledeporte.
"These are emotional moments for me as I think I have managed to turn around a situation in which after many months of doubts I am able to play at a level that I would not have dreamed of four months ago."
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