Rafael Nadal dominated David Ferrer 7-6 (8/6), 6-0 on Saturday to power into a seventh Rome Masters final, beating his fellow Spaniard for the 12th consecutive time on clay.
Second-seeded Nadal will now face either World No 1 Novak Djokovic, the defending champion, or World No 2 Roger Federer in Sunday’s final.
Nadal, winner of the Foro Italico trophy in five of seven appearances in the Italian capital, also won a 39th straight claycourt semi-final and has not lost at the final-four stage on the surface since 2003.
Ferrer, a legendary scrambler on the dirt, was beaten by his countryman in Rome for the third time as Nadal polished his career record here to 35-2. He now stands 15-4 in the pair’s series.
Spain’s 10-time Grand Slam champion will be competing in his 70th career ATP final on Sunday, defending a record of 48-21. He and Federer currently share the record for Masters titles won at 20 each.
Nadal has 15 wins on clay this season against one defeat, which came in Madrid against compatriot Fernando Verdasco last week.