Nadal thumps Andujar to reach Madrid final

Updated: May 11, 2013


Rafael Nadal is back in the Madrid Masters
final for the fifth time after a straight-set victory over fellow Spaniard
Pablo Andujar in the first of Saturday’s semifinals.

Nadal, the fifth seed and two-time champ at the Magic Box, needed just 77
minutes to dispose of Andujar in a 6-0, 6-4 rout. He won this title in 2005
and 2010, while finishing as the runner-up 2009 and 2011.

The former world No. 1 will face the winner Stanislas Wawrinka on Sunday,
as the 15th-seeded Swiss defeated sixth-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych 6-3, 4-6,

Nadal captured the first set Saturday in a mere 27 minutes, winning all but
nine of the 34 points played. Andujar settled down and won the first game of
the second set, then held a 4-3 lead before Nadal won the final three games.

Wawrinka fired eight aces and won 82 percent of his first serves to improve to
6-5 all-time against Berdych and avenge a loss to Berdych earlier this year in
a Davis Cup matchup.

Sunday will mark the seventh final in as many events this year for Nadal, who
didn’t make his 2013 debut until February after recovering from a knee injury.
He is 4-2 in finals this year, winning in Sao Paolo, Acapulco, Indian Wells
and Barcelona. His losses came against unheralded Horacio Zeballos in the Vina
Del Mar final and Novak Djokovic in the Monte Carlo title match.

Djokovic was ousted in the second round this week, while other top seeds —
former Madrid champions Roger Federer and Andy Murray — were also eliminated
before the weekend.

Nadal has a record of 30-2 overall this year and on Sunday will try for his
54th career title. A victory Sunday will also give him 40 career clay titles,
matching Thomas Muster for the second-most in ATP history. Guillermo Vilas
tops the list with 45 titles on the slow surface.

Nadal stands a good chance of winning this title, as the 11-time Grand Slam
champion has beaten Wawrinka in all eight previous matchups between the two.

Wawrinka is coming off a clay-court title last week in Portugal.