Monaco: Clay king Rafael Nadal shook off a dogged Andy Murray 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 on Saturday to set up a Monte Carlo Masters final against fellow Spaniard David Ferrer.
World number one Nadal, who lost to Ferrer in the Australian Open quarterfinals, broke for 3-1 in the first set when shaggy-haired Murray sent a booming shot long but the Briton hit back in the seventh game only to lose the set`s final act.
Determined third seed Murray refused to lie down and a superb crosscourt backhand gave him the fourth game of the second set after nearly 20 minutes of slugging before breaks of serve were exchanged three times and the Scot took the set.
Nadal though raced to a 4-0 lead in the third as Murray tired and needed treatment on an arm injury before succumbing.
Fourth seed Ferrer roared back from a shaky start to cruise through with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Roger Federer`s quarterfinal conqueror Juergen Melzer.
Melzer broke early for 2-1 as Ferrer struggled with his serve but the Austrian then lost his serve twice, with a double fault effectively sealing his fate in the first set before he was broken twice in the second.
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 here last year.