Kei Nishikori is sure he can find a way to beat Rafael Nadal in the final of the Monte-Carlo Masters but admitted it will be a tough task to follow.

Nishikori came back from a set down to defeat young prospect Alexander Zverev 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the semifinal Saturday to reach his fourth Masters 1000 final as he sets his sights on a first victory after three previously failed attempts.

The Japanese star has been in good form during the tournament, having also notably defeated the likes of number three-ranked Marin Cilic and Tomas Berdych to reach his first-ever final in this competition.

"I'm happy to be back in [a] final in Masters again," Nishikori said after the match. "It's been long time for me. Hope I can have another good day tomorrow. I know I wasn't playing too bad from the beginning. Maybe had one bad game. He [Zverev] breaks. He took a chance. I tried to focus same thing as first set. I think I was doing well with my service game."

"As soon as he had one bad game with his service game, I tried to focus again. It was really tight game. Could be go both ways. Happy to finish very strong in the end. Yeah, was I think great match for both of us," he said. "Every match improving for sure. This week I think only clay it's more easy for me to get my rhythm back. There is more rallies than hard court. I feel like I'm getting there close. Tomorrow is different opponent. He's [Nadal] been dominating crazy this week."

Nishikori will now play reigning champion Nadal in the final as the latter looks to defend his Monte Carlo title by winning it for a record 11th time and remain atop the rankings above Roger Federer.

Nadal continued his domination on clay with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Grigor Dimitrov in the other semifinal Saturday, breaking his own personal record with 34 sets won in a row on the surface.

While Nishikori will undoubtedly be the underdog, having only defeated Nadal twice in 11 meetings, he will take inspiration from the 2014 Madrid Open final when he was leading the Spaniard by a set and a break until a back injury eventually forced him to retire from the match.

"I know it's going to be tough," Nishikori added. "Rafa has been hitting very, very heavy, especially his forehand. Backhand also. He's been playing very solid this week. Hope I can find the way to beat him. Yeah, especially on clay he's the king."

"So, yeah, will discuss with my coach tonight. I'm sure there is a way to beat him. But to see him this week, looks little bit difficult. But, yeah, the match in (2014) Madrid, for sure that gives me little bit confidence," he said.

The final will take place Sunday and if Nadal fails to retain the title, he will lose 400 points and fall behind Federer in the rankings who trails by just 100 points.