Madrid: World No 1 Novak Djokovic set-up a mouthwatering Madrid Masters final showdown against defending champion Andy Murray by seeing off Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) on Saturday.
Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates after beating Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-3, 7-6 in the Madrid Masters semi-finals on Saturday. Pic/AFP
Murray, the second seed, earlier registered just his second ever win over Rafael Nadal on clay to make the final with a 7-5, 6-4 victory.
Djokovic has yet to drop a set in the Spanish capital this week but he was nearly caught cold by the windy conditions as he had to battle back from 0-40 down in the first game with some fine serving.
The Serb slowly began to find his rhythm and broke through in the eighth game as Nishikori pulled a forehand wide before serving out for the set.
Kei saves three match points
Djokovic looked set to seal victory comfortably as he led 40-0 at 5-4 in the second set, but the Japanese star dug deep, saving the three match points and then a fourth as he broke back before forcing the tiebreak.
Japan's Kei Nishikori
However, the top seed bounced back to take the breaker 7-4 and set up his first meeting with Murray in a Masters series final on clay.
"I had an easy forehand to finish off the match at 40-0 then a double fault and couple of good points from Kei and the break was there," said Djokovic.