ABU DHABI: Tennis icons Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will contest the final of the Mubadala world tennis championship exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi after both won their Friday semi contests.
Whereas Nadal scored a straight sets 6-4, 6-4 success over Czech Tomas Berdych, Federer needed three sets to get past Swede Robin Soderling.
World number two Federer conceded the opening set on the tiebreak but the 16-time grand slam winner then knuckled down and completed a 6-7 (3/7), 6-3, 6-3 victory, sending down 16 aces - the final one winning him the encounter against last year`s finalist here.
The Swiss star, who lost to Soderling at the event 12 months ago, will now meet Spanish world number one Nadal after he outlasted Berdych at the Zayed Sports City`s International Tennis Complex.
Nadal had to fight to assert his authority in a tightly-contested opener but seemed to have the match in his pocket after a break to love for a 2-1 second set lead.
A rebreak gave him a 4-1 advantage but the nine-times Grand Slam champion then conceded serve to love and Berdych promptly held to close the gap to a single game.
But Nadal promptly dug deep and served out for victory when his rival netted.