December 6, 2013
Nadal outplays Murray to reach final
Five-times champion Rafa Nadal sparked off his 25th birthday celebrations by blowing Andy Murray off court with a 6-4 7-5 6-4 win to reach the French Open final.
The Spaniard, bidding to equal Bjorn Borg's record of six titles at Roland Garros, outplayed the British fourth seed in a three-hour-17-minute display of power and stamina as he set up a much-awaited showdown with Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic.
"I'm happy to be back here," Nadal said courtside after throwing his bandana into the crowd.
"Andy is a fantastic player, he deserves to win a grand slam very very soon. Now I'm going to play the best player of the moment or the best player in history.
"But the most important thing is to be there."
Nadal, who will lose his world number one spot if Serbia's Djokovic reaches the final later on Friday, was often at his brilliant best on Court Philippe Chatrier.
His amazing court coverage, vicious forehands and crosscourt backhands were too much to handle for Murray, who was bidding to become the first British man to reach the final at Roland Garros since Bunny Austin in 1937.
Nadal, who now has a 44-1 record at the French Open, teased Murray by handing him a few openings. But that was as good as it got for the fourth seed because almost every time he earned a break point, Nadal slammed the door shut with yet another fizzing winner.