Madrid, Spain (SportsNetwork.com) - Rafael Nadal will play for another Madrid Open title after dispatching Tomas Berdych in straight sets on Saturday.
Nadal, a four-time Madrid champion, reached the final for a seventh time with a 7-6 (7-3), 6-1 semifinal victory. He will try for a third straight title at the Magic Box against either Andy Murray or Kei Nishikori.
The Spaniard first won the Madrid crown in 2005 on an indoor hardcourt and has dominated the event since it moved to the spring clay-court season in 2009. He has now reached the final six times in the seven years it has been a French Open tune-up, the lone exception being a round of 16 loss to Fernando Verdasco in 2012.
Nadal beat Roger Federer for the 2010 title, avenging a loss to the Swiss great in the 2009 final, then lost to Novak Djokovic in the 2011 title match. Since the surprising loss to Verdasco in 2012, he has not tasted defeat in the Spanish capital, beating Stan Wawrinka for the 2013 title and Nishikori for last year's championship.
Berdych was trying to reach his second straight clay-court final after last month's loss to Djokovic in the Monte Carlo title match. The Czech has advanced to at least the semifinals in seven of his eight tournaments this year, including a run to the Australian Open semis when he beat Nadal in the quarterfinals.
Nadal was not going to let history repeat itself on Saturday.
The third-seeded Mallorcan failed to convert a couple of break points in the first set, but dominated the tiebreaker and carried that momentum through a relentless second set. He broke Berdych twice during the set and finished the match in an hour and 44 minutes.
Nadal did not face a break point during the match and improved to 19-4 lifetime against Berdych. He had beaten the Czech 17 straight times, including last year's Madrid quarters, before the straight-set loss in Melbourne.