17 Apr 2011

Nadal battles past Murray, Ferrer trounces Federer's conqueror

8:41 am on 17 April 2011

Clay king Rafa Nadal shook off a dogged Andy Murray 6-4 2-6 6-1 to set up a Monte Carlo Masters tennis final against fellow Spaniard David Ferrer.

World number one Nadal will play fourth seed Ferrer after the Auckland Open champion roared back from a shaky start to cruise through with a 6-3 6-2 win over Roger Federer's quarter-final conqueror Juergen Melzer.

Nadal's win was his 36th consecutive in Monte Carlo, the top seed improving to a phenomenal 37-1 at the venue, with his only loss coming to Guillermo Coria on his debut in 2003.

The Monte Carlo Country Club will host a second successive all-Spanish final fiesta on Sunday after Nadal set a men's open era record with a sixth title in a row at the same event by beating Fernando Verdasco there last year.