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HindustanTimes Sat,02 Aug 2014

Tennis

Nadal storms into 'dream' Madrid final
AFP
Madrid, May 11, 2013
First Published: 20:45 IST(11/5/2013)
Last Updated: 23:13 IST(11/5/2013)
Rafael Nadal celebrates after defeating Pablo Andujar during the Madrid Open tennis tournament, in Madrid. Daniel Ochoa de Olza/AP

Rafael Nadal described reaching the final of the Madrid Masters as a "dream" after he stormed into his seventh consecutive final since returning from a seven-month injury layoff with 6-0, 6-4 win over compatriot Pablo Andujar.

"To be able to return to a final here at home, in Madrid is a dream," he said.

"I am very happy and thankful for what I have been able to complete during this season.

"To be in the final of this Masters gives me a special excitement, now all that is left to do is wait for the final tomorrow."

World number 113 Andujar was blown away in the opening set, winning just nine points, as Nadal broke three times to take it 6-0 and the 11-time Grand Slam champion said he was happy with the aggression he showed early on.

"I played very aggressively in the first set. In the second Pablo began to play at a better level and more aggressively.

"I want to congratulate him for his tournament, because this will serve him well for the future."

Andujar had progressed to his first ever Masters series semi-final and he believes Nadal is in even better than in their only previous meeting at the French Open in 2011 when the seven-time champion at Roland Garros progressed in straight sets.

"I think that Rafa played better. He committed very few unforced errors. In the first set he was very aggressive, and I was a little bit nervous," he said.

"But I remember that match where in the first set I was also nervous and Rafa committed a few more errors. I was able to step in a little bit more in the court.

"In this case, Rafa was much more superior than me in the first set."

Victory extended Nadal's incredible run to 31-2 since returning from the tendinitis problem in his knee.

He is a huge favourite to win his third title in Madrid after a week of surprises which saw exits for the world's top three ranked players, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray.

The 26-year-old will face either Murray's conqueror Tomas Berdych or Stanislas Wawrinka, who himself is in great form on the clay after securing the Portugal Open last week, in Sunday's final.


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