the third seeded Novak Djokovic of Serbia 3-6, 7-6(7-5), 7-6(11-9) at the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open.
The victory marked the Spaniard's 33rd consecutive claycourt win.
In Sunday's final, Nadal takes on the world number two Roger Federer of Switzerland. Federer today topped the fifth seeded Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina 6-3, 6-4.
The Madrid championship match, already dripping with drama, will mark men's tennis toughest rivalry's 20th meeting with Nadal holding a career head to head 13-6 edge.
And for Federer each match versus Nadal affords an opportunity to put to rest the whispers that he can no longer beat Nadal after
losing to the Spaniard in the duos' last five matches in a row.
Federer owns 13 singles grand slam titles and is only one grand slam title away from tying the men's all-time leader Pete Sampras of the USA with 14. The Swiss, a five time Wimbledon champion, has also won the US Open the last five years in a row.
During the period from 2003 until the summer of last year, Federer rocked men's tennis with a guaranteed delivery of an overwhelming allcourt game which earned him the nickname Fed Ex.
However it was Nadal who ascended to ATP Tour's world number one ranking August 18 of last year, knocking Federer to number two after he'd topped the ATP Tour rankings for a record 237 consecutive weeks.
Last year the 22 year old Nadal crushed the 27 year old Federer in the French Open final 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 before also defeating him once again only weeks later in for Federer a much more disappointing Wimbledon five set final.
Federer's career records and accomplishments read like a breathtaking who's who of tennis. Arguably the best tennis player ever, Federer has either won or lost to the eventual champion at a record 19 consecutive grand slam tournaments (2004 Wimbledon – current).
However the Swiss has repeatedly fluttered on claycourts, losing to Nadal in the French Open final the last three years. Federer last won a claycourt championship in April of 2008 at Estoril, Portugal, while Nadal this year already has taken claycourt titles at Monte Carlo, Barcelona, and Rome.
Nadal won a record 81 claycourt matches in a row from 2005 to 2007 and has never lost a best of five sets clay court match on clay, going 45-0.
“I feel like playing him anywhere is a challenge,” Federer said of Nadal. “The extra flair here is that it's in Spain. I think with the adrenaline and the crowd he's going to be the Rafa we know tomorrow.”