Rafael Nadal cruised into the semifinals of the Mutua Madrid Open Friday, taking down Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-2. The world number one is going after his fourth title at this event and has now beaten Berdych in 17 of the last 21 meetings.
Nadal’s forehand was masterful all match long, and countered the fast start that Berdych came out with. After Berdych looked in control through the first six games, the Spaniard broke serve in the seventh game as he began to dictate the match.
In the second set, Nadal continued to use his powerful forehand to out strength the number six player in the world. After breaking serve to take a 5-2 second set lead, the Spanish lefty smashed his fourth ace of the match to wrap up the victory.
He now moves on to face Roberto Bautista Agut, a winner Friday over Santiago Giraldo, 6-3, 6-4. Nadal now has 28 match victories on the year which include two ATP World Tour titles, and hope to notch his third title of the year this weekend in Madrid.