Rafael Nadal remains on course for an eighth Monte Carlo Masters title after he beat Gilles Simon to set up a final clash with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

The world No. 2 was made to work hard for his win, but in the end proved too strong for ninth seed Simon as he claimed a 6-3 6-4 victory.

It was a typically robust performance from Nadal, who saved all seven break points he faced as a single break in each set saw him secure his 41st successive win at the Monte Carlo Country Club.

It was Simon who had the first sniff of an opening as the Frenchman forged two break points in the seventh game. However, he was left to rue a netted volley as Nadal held serve before grabbing a break of his own to wrap up the opening set.

Nadal tightened his grip on the match with an early break in the second, and he kept his cool to secure victory in an hour and 50 minutes.

Through to the final for an eighth successive year, Nadal is looking to win his first title since his French Open win last year, but he will have to find a way to beat top seed Djokovic, who he has not beaten in seven matches.

Earlier on Saturday, Djokovic booked his place in the final as he came from behind to beat Andy Murray's quarter-final victor Tomas Berdych.