Federer will meet the Spaniard for the first time since beating Nadal in the 2009 Madrid final. That win sparked off a golden spell for the Swiss world number one as we went on to capture his first French Open crown before triumphing at Wimbledon.
Nadal's Davis Cup team mate Ferrer sent the partisan home fans into a frenzy with a stirring second-set fightback in the Magic Box arena but the Swiss maestro turned the screw in the decider and sealed victory with an eighth ace.
Nadal, who has a 13-7 winning record against Federer, had earlier ensured he would regain the number two ranking next week when he came from a set down in an all-Spanish semi to see off Nicolas Almagro 4-6 6-2 6-2.
(Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Pritha Sarkar)