Nadal ends losing run against Djokovic to reach Madrid final
Four-time champion Rafael Nadal ended a three-year, seven-match losing streak against Novak Djokovic to reach the final of the Madrid Open.
The Spaniard, 30, won 6-2 6-4 to claim his first victory over the Serb since the 2014 French Open final.
Nadal improved his record on clay this year to 14-0 and will face Austrian Dominic Thiem or Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas in Sunday’s final.
Kristina Mladenovic plays Simona Halep in Saturday’s women’s final.
Nadal confirmed his return to form with a long-awaited win over Djokovic, his 24th in 50 career meetings.
Djokovic, playing his first tournament since splitting with his long-time coaching team, won just four points in the opening four games as he fell 4-0 down to a rejuvenated Nadal.
There were more positive signs for the Serb in the second set as he recovered an early break of serve, punching his fist in delight, but Nadal would quickly re-establish the advantage.
The Spaniard came through a tense final game, fending off a break point before converting his third match point and closing on a fifth Madrid title.