Nadal survives Gulbis scare to reach Rome final
Rome: Rafael Nadal overcame a stern challenge from Ernests Gulbis to reach the Rome Masters final on Saturday, prevailing 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 after the Latvian had exposed chinks in the clay master`s armour.
The Spaniard looked to have regained his old dominance on red dirt after an injury-hit 2009, cruising into the last four in the Italian capital after winning the Monte Carlo Masters with ease two weeks ago.
But by taking a set and causing problems throughout, the 40th ranked Gulbis, who ejected world number one Roger Federer from the tournament earlier in the week, showed a fifth title at the upcoming French Open is no foregone conclusion for Nadal.
In Sunday`s final Nadal will face compatriot David Ferrer, who took advantage of Fernando Verdasco`s capitulation to beat his exhausted fellow Spaniard 7-5, 6-3.