Nadal Beats Federer for Madrid Final Spot

Rafael Nadal rallied from a set down to beat longtime rival Roger Federer, 5-7 6-1 6-3, in their semifinal duel at the Madrid Masters on Saturday and earn his fifth-straight final appearance.

In another classic match between the top two players in recent years, Federer took advantage of several Nadal miscues to take the hard-fought first set. Nadal, however, would wrap up his 37th-straight win on clay by breaking Federer several times in the succeeding sets. The Spanish world number one, who is now 16-8 all time against the Swiss ace, could face either world no.2 Novak Djokovic or Thomaz Bellucci in the final.

Nadal, who is the defending champion here, is aiming for a third-straight tournament title following wins in Barcelona and Monte Carlo over the past couple of weeks. A win by Djokovic in his semifinal match would set up a third meeting in a final with Nadal this year. Djokovic beat Nadal on the hard courts of Miami and Indian Wells back in March.