Nadal sails into French final
Rafael Nadal is one victory away from a record seventh French Open title after thrashing David Ferrer 6-2 6-2 6-1 in the semi-finals.
The Spaniard has been in awesome form this fortnight and it was no different on Friday, Ferrer simply having no answer to the sustained excellence of his opponent, who is on course to break the record he currently shares with Bjorn Borg.
As well as Ferrer has been playing, dropping only one set on his way to his first French Open semi-final, the odds were heavily in Nadal's favour. The 26-year-old's record at Roland Garros going into the match read: played 50, lost one.
Not only had Nadal not dropped a set this tournament, he had not dropped a set on red clay all year - his only defeat coming on the much-maligned blue clay of Madrid - and his serve had been broken only once this fortnight.
Ferrer, meanwhile, had lost 15 of their 19 meetings and, aside from the Australian Open quarter-final he won in 2011 when Nadal was injured, had not so much as won a set since 2008.
No surprise then, that the world number six described beating his fellow Spaniard on this surface as "almost impossible".
Ferrer began well, though, holding his own serve comfortably and pushing Nadal hard on his, bringing up two break points in the fourth game.
But the champion held on, and it was a missed chance Ferrer was made to regret in the most emphatic circumstances.
Nadal broke serve to love, and then did so again, winning 19 of the last 22 points of the opening set.
Ferrer finally stopped the rot at the start of the second set but it was a temporary reprieve as Nadal, who was hitting with relentless power and accuracy, stamped his authority on the match once more with four straight games.
There was relief for Ferrer in the shape of a heavy shower, with the players forced off for almost an hour, but Nadal wasted no time wrapping the set up on the resumption.
Ferrer, the most dogged of competitors, looked downcast, and things promptly got worse as Nadal broke in the opening game of the third set.
The only relief for Ferrer was that it was soon over, Nadal wrapping up victory in an hour and 46 minutes to move through to a final against either Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer.
Were Nadal to go through the whole tournament without dropping a set, it would be the second time he has achieved the feat after 2008, when he hammered Federer in the final for the loss of only four games.