No. 1-ranked Rafael Nadal advanced to his ninth career French Open final after dropping No. 8 Andy Murray in straight sets 6-3 6-2 6-1 in the semifinals on Friday at Roland Garros.
Nearly perfect in every facet of the game, Nadal overpowered Murray by winning 91 percent of his first serves and converting on all six of his break-point opportunities. The Spaniard’s net approaches were just as impressive, winning nine of his 10 attempts.
Murray also committed 26 unforced errors compared to 15 for Nadal, and struggled on his second serve.
It was the first match between Nadal and Murray since 2012, with the latter taking two straight in Miami and Tokyo. Murray was hoping to make the first French final of his career and surpass his deepest run in Paris since 2011, when he also fell to Nadal in the semis.
Nadal is now 15-5 all-time against Murray, and moves on to the final where he’ll face long-time nemesis No. 2 Novak Djokovic on Sunday. Earlier in the day, Djokovic needed four sets to eliminate Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis 6-3 6-3 3-6 6-3.
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Though not as dominate as his comeback from injury in 2013, Nadal has only dropped one set during the tournament and puts his perfect 8-0 record in French finals on the line against Djokovic. In 2013, Nadal ousted Djokovic in the French semis. Djokovic has never won a French Open title.
Nadal has Djokovic’s number in slams. He defeated the Serb star in four sets in the U.S. Open final last year and at the Paris final in 2012. Djokovic last beat Nadal in a major in the Australian Open final in 2012. The foes have met in 21 finals over the last eight years.
Sunday's winner will be No. 1 in the ATP rankings.