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Home favourite Fritz gave fans what they came to denying Nadal what would have been his fourth title of the season
Another windy day in the California desert made life miserable for both players, the gusts contributing to an uneven contest littered with nine breaks of serve.
- Nadal will meet Taylor Fritz in the final Sunday. Seeded 20th, Fritz is the first American man to make the final since John Isner in 2012
Nadal saved break points early in the third set and hung on to see off the big-serving Australian and extend his unbeaten record this year to 19 matches.