Buenos Aires: Reigning French Open champion Rafael Nadal reached his first final of the year by rolling over Carlos Berlocq 7-6 (9/7), 6-2 Saturday at the ATP Argentina Open.
The 28-year-old Spanish left-hander next faces Argentina`s Juan Monaco in Sunday`s final. where Nadal will be trying to equal Guillermo Vilas` all-time record of 46 titles on clay.
Nadal rallied in the opening-set tie-breaker from a 6-1 deficit to win, then clinched the match when Berlocq hammered a forehand long on the first match point.
Earlier in the day, Monaco beat Spain`s Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 6-7 (6/8), 6-4 to book his spot in the final.
Monaco reached his 20th career ATP final and is competing in his third final on home soil.
Nadal is playing in this event for the first time in 10 years, when he reached the quarter finals. He is 5-1 lifetime against Monaco.
The Mallorcan native is trying capture his first title since claiming a ninth French Open crown in June.
Nadal breezed into semi-finals by defeating Facundo Arguello 6-4, 6-0 and Federico Delbonis 6-1, 6-1. He received a bye in the first round.
The Nadal-Monaco matchup means the Argentina Open will be won by an Argentine or Spaniard for the 13th consecutive year. Since 2003, the champion has come from one of the two countries, including the past six by Spain.