Rafael Nadal is one win away from a fifth title since returning from injury after the Spanish World No 5 thumped compatriot Pablo Andujar 6-0, 6-4 on Saturday to reach the Madrid Open final.
With his customary strapping on the troublesome left knee that sidelined him for seven months, home favourite Nadal was in scintillating form as he raced through the first set on the sun-drenched clay of Manolo Santana centre court.
Andujar, a tournament wildcard ranked 113 in the world, put up more of a fight in the second but Nadal secured a fourth break in the ninth game and served out to move a step closer to his third title at the Masters event in the Spanish capital.
Nadal will meet sixth-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych, runner-up last year to Roger Federer, or Federer's Swiss compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka, the 15th seed, in Sunday's final.
Second seed Federer was upset by Kei Nishikori in the third round and while world number one and top seed Novak Djokovic lost in the second round to Grigor Dimitrov.
Photograph: Juan Medina/Reuters