Rafael Nadal produced another clay-court masterclass to beat Bulgarian fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov and reach his 12th Monte Carlo Masters final. The Spaniard, 31, has won 34 straight sets on his favoured surface after a 6-4 6-1 semi-final victory.
Nadal will play Kei Nishikori in the final after the Japanese world number 36 beat Germanyâ€™s Alexander Zverev. Victory for Nadal will be a record-extending 11th triumph at the event and keep him at world number one.
Nadal needs to win the Masters 1000 tournament, one of the highest-ranked ATP Tour titles after the Grand Slams, to prevent Roger Federer overtaking him.
And few would back him to lose todayâ€™s final after another ruthless display against an opponent expected to push him closer.
Dimitrov pushed him all the way in an hour-long opening set but was unable to maintain the high levels of mental concentration needed to beat Nadal as the Spaniard ran away with the second set.
The 28-year-old Nishikori is yet to win a Masters title in three previous final appearances, including one against Nadal in Madrid four years ago when he led by a set and a break before retiring injured.