Murray sets up Djokovic final

Top seeds Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray will battle it out for the Mutua Madrid Open title on Sunday.

Murray was the first to book his spot in the final, as he toppled in-form Rafael Nadal with a 7-5, 6-4 victory.

The Scot fired eight aces and saved 11 of 13 break points to bring Nadal’s long winning streak to an end.

The Spaniard was coming off titles in Monte Carlo and Barcelona and looking very much at home on clay, so this is a important win for Murray with the French Open looming.

“I think it’s big – it’s not easy. Not loads of players have won against Rafa on clay throughout his career,” he said.

“To beat him in Spain on a clay court is obviously a big challenge. It’s a big step for me from where I was four or five weeks ago.”

Murray got off to the best possible start, breaking Nadal in his second service game.

Nadal was able to regain that lost break, but was powerless to prevent Murray from grabbing another break – and the set – shortly after.

The second set followed a similar pattern to the first, with Nadal regaining an earlier lost break only to get broken for a second time to surrender the set and, this time, the match.

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Djokovic, meanwhile, was up against Kei Nishikori in the other semi-final, and while the Japanese star fought hard, he could not find a way past the dominant World No 1.

A single break of serve handed the Serb the first set, while he looked on course for a comfortable win after grabbing another break in the second.

But Nishikori did not give up so easily, and saved four match points in the 10th game before stunning Djokovic with a break of serve.

Unfortunately, Nishikori could not make that fightback count, and Djokovic would take the ensuing tie-break to wrap up a 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) victory.

Despite the defeat, Nishikori was given a standing ovation for his efforts after the match.

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