Nadal, Ferrer set up repeat of 2008 Barcelona final

Rafael Nadal Barcelona - Spaniards Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer will clash for the second straight year in a Barcelona Open final after cruising to solid semi-final victories on Saturday. Nadal, his devastating form improving even further as he heads toward the dream of five trophies in succession at the Real club, dispatched Russian third seed Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 6-2 in windy conditions to reach the Sunday showdown.

Ferrer, the scampering, retrieving number four, outlasted determined Chilean Fernando Gonzalez 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) as the South American made a recovery from 5-2 down in the second set to eventually force a tiebreaker.

Nadal has now won his last 24 matches at the tournament and admits that his game could not be any healthier.

"I'm living the best time of my career, and I really need to appreciate this time because it will not be repeated."

Nadal has dominated against Ferrer in the past, standing 6-3 overall, 5-1 on clay and the winner both previous times the men have met in Barcelona.

"Whatever happens tomorrow, it will be fantastic," said Nadal, who has gone through the week without dropping serve.

"I was able to finish playing my match better than I started," warned the world number one who also won a fifth straight trophy last weekend in Monte Carlo as he beat Novak Djokovic.

Nadal, who saved all six break points he faced, broke third seed Davydenko four times, finishing the match in just over one and three-quarter hours with a concluding break of the Russian.

Davydenko, coming back after heel problems earlier in the season and playing regularly for only the second consecutive week, was simplyout-muscled by the Spaniard.

Nadal stands an ATP-best 32-3 on the season with trophies at the Australian Open and Indian Wells in addition to Monte Carlo.

He had a rest day Friday as quarter-final opponent David Nalbandian pulled out complaining of hip pain. (dpa)