Published January 13, 2015
Rafael Nadal is back in the Madrid Masters final for the fifth time after a straight-set victory over fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar in the first of Saturday's semifinals.
Nadal, the fifth seed and two-time champ at the Magic Box, needed just 77 minutes to dispose of Andujar in a 6-0, 6-4 rout. He won this title in 2005 and 2010, while finishing as the runner-up 2009 and 2011.
The former world No. 1 will face the winner Stanislas Wawrinka on Sunday, as the 15th-seeded Swiss defeated sixth-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
Nadal captured the first set Saturday in a mere 27 minutes, winning all but nine of the 34 points played. Andujar settled down and won the first game of the second set, then held a 4-3 lead before Nadal won the final three games.
Wawrinka fired eight aces and won 82 percent of his first serves to improve to 6-5 all-time against Berdych and avenge a loss to Berdych earlier this year in a Davis Cup matchup.
Sunday will mark the seventh final in as many events this year for Nadal, who didn't make his 2013 debut until February after recovering from a knee injury. He is 4-2 in finals this year, winning in Sao Paolo, Acapulco, Indian Wells and Barcelona. His losses came against unheralded Horacio Zeballos in the Vina Del Mar final and Novak Djokovic in the Monte Carlo title match.
Djokovic was ousted in the second round this week, while other top seeds -- former Madrid champions Roger Federer and Andy Murray -- were also eliminated before the weekend.
Nadal has a record of 30-2 overall this year and on Sunday will try for his 54th career title. A victory Sunday will also give him 40 career clay titles, matching Thomas Muster for the second-most in ATP history. Guillermo Vilas tops the list with 45 titles on the slow surface.
Nadal stands a good chance of winning this title, as the 11-time Grand Slam champion has beaten Wawrinka in all eight previous matchups between the two.
Wawrinka is coming off a clay-court title last week in Portugal.