Nadal

Nadal of Spain follows through on a shot against Giraldo of Columbia during their men's singles quarter-final match at the Japan Open tennis championships. Picture - Reuters.

World number two Rafael Nadal and British number one Andy Murray will face-off against each other in the final of the Japan Open after coming through their respective semifinals unscathed.

Defending champion Nadal eased past American Mardy Fish while Murray was scintillating against Spaniard David Ferrer.

On comparison, Nadal had a tougher time as Fish produced some fighting tennis in the first set. It took 11 games for the first break as Nadal grabbed his second break point to take a 6-5 lead. He then served to take the set.

In control all through the second, he grabbed a spot in the final, without even facing a break point, after taking the second set 6-1.

Fellow Spaniard Ferrer had a tough time against Murray though. The Scot, who won the Thailand Open last week, cruised to a 6-2 6-3 win and remains on course for a second successive title although it'll take some doing against Nadal.

The top seeded Spaniard has won his previous five encounters with Murray and leads the head-to-head with a commanding figure of 13-4.

However, after his win over Fish, he admitted the need to play his best tennis in order to defeat Murray.

I hope that I can play a fantastic match (tomorrow), said the Spaniard.My opponent will be very difficult, so I have to play my best match if I want to win the tournament with the title.

But for me, being in the final here is a very, very good result. I'm very happy about it. I'll just try to do my best and enjoy a difficult match, he added.

Murray was happy with his display against Ferrer.

I played great from start to finish. Murray told www.atptour.com. It was always going to be a tough match, but I played smart and I was hitting the ball very deep from the back of the court, so it was a very good performance.

When asked about the final against Nadal, he said, I think he's played some very good tennis the last couple of matches. He's always tough. He won here last year, so he likes the conditions.