In what promises to be an enthralling contest, Rafael Nadal will clash with his old rival Roger Federer in the semi final of the Madrid Open, after the two progressed without much difficulty in the quarterfinals.
World number one Nadal won 6-2 6-2 over Michael Llodra while Federer got past 5th seed Robin Soderling 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 in the other quarter-final.
It was another easy cruise for Nadal into the semifinals after qualifying for the quarters after Juan Martin del Potro walked over with a hip injury. Nadal showed the benefits of a good rest, rarely giving Micahel Llodra a chance.
It was the Spaniard's 36th consecutive victory on clay.
I didn't think I would win like that, he said afterwards. He's got a powerful serve and dangerous volley so it's hard to pass him but in the first set he committed some errors. Winning that first set gave me a lot of confidence.
Former world number one Federer won the tie-breaker in a captivating first set against Soderling after neither player broke. However, he secured his only break against Soderling in the second set before serving to victory.
He said, The conditions were tough. I didn't know you could get so much wind inside an enclosed space.
On the clash with Federer, Nadal said, He seems like he is playing amazing tennis right now but I'll give it my best shot and see how I get on.
In the other semi-final, second seed Novak Djokovic will meet Thomaz Bellucci after the world number two overcame Spaniard David Ferrer 6-4 4-6 6-3. It meant he broke Ivan Llend's mark of a 29-match winning streak set in 1986 and he now has only Bjorn Borg (33 in 1980) and John McEnroe (42 in 1984) ahead of him.
Bellucci had become the first player into the semi-finals with a 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 win over seventh seed Tomas Berdych.