Tennis: Nadal, Ferrer in rematch of '08 Barcelona final
BARCELONA, Spain — Rafael Nadal will attempt to win his fifth straight Barcelona Open title when he meets David Ferrer on Sunday in a repeat of last year's final.
Nadal beat Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 6-2 and Ferrer rallied to defeat Fernando Gonzalez 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (5) in Saturday's semifinals.
"Whatever happens tomorrow, it's an excellent start to the clay season," said Nadal, who is 6-3 against Ferrer. "I'm enjoying the best moment of my career this past year and I have to appreciate that and feel happy about it."
Nadal has not dropped his serve in the tournament and saved all six of Davydenko's break points in windy conditions.
Davydenko hit too many unforced errors, often sending his backhand wide, as Nadal earned his 24th straight win on clay.
Nadal saved three break points in the first set and broke the ninth-ranked Russian twice.
In the second set, Nadal broke to lead 3-1 and then saved three more break points in the next game. The ninth-ranked Russian wasted the first chance by hitting a crosscourt backhand wide, then watched Nadal slice a perfect crosscourt shot onto the line to save the second before Davydenko hit wide again.
Nadal ended the match with a passing shot down the line to even his head-to-head record to 3-3 against Davydenko, with the three victories coming on clay.
Nadal had a rest day Friday after his quarterfinal opponent David Nalbandian withdrew before the match with a right hip injury.
Gonzalez's booming forehand helped the Chilean set up two early break points to lead 5-1 in the first set. But Ferrer turned it around in the second set, leading 3-0 by moving Gonzalez around the court and then coming to the net to even the match.
Ferrer broke to lead 3-1 in the final set after Gonzalez sent a forehand wide, causing the Chilean to snap his racket in anger.
Ferrer saved a fourth break chance in the seventh game to hold serve following a seventh deuce, but Gonzalez broke to love in the ninth game to force the tiebreaker.
"There were lot of nerves, it was really tense," Ferrer said. "I'm in the final, I'll fight to the end and see what happens."