Nadal advances to 5th straight Barcelona final

BARCELONA: Rafael Nadal beat Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 6-2 on Saturday to reach his fifth straight Barcelona Open final.

The top-ranked Spaniard will take on either countryman David Ferrer or Chile''s Fernando Gonzalez, who played later Saturday.

Nadal, who is the four-time defending champion here, has not dropped his serve throughout the tournament and saved all six of Davydenko''s break points in windy conditions.

Davydenko hit too many unforced errors, often sending his backhand wide; as Nadal earned his 24th straight win on clay.

Nadal saved three break points in the first set and broke the ninth-ranked Russian twice.

In the second, Nadal broke to lead 3-1 and then saved three more break points in the next game as Davydenko went on the offensive. The ninth-ranked Russian wasted the first chance by hitting crosscourt backhand wide, then watched Nadal slice a perfect crosscourt shot onto the line to save the second before Davydenko hit wide again.

Nadal ended the match with a passing shot down the line to clinch the victory in 1 hour, 48 minutes. The Spaniard evened his head-to-head record to 3-3 against Davydenko, with Nadal winning all three matches on clay.

Nadal got a rest day Friday after his quarterfinal opponent David Nalbandian withdrew ahead of the match with a right hip injury.