Top seed Rafael Nadal saw off Roger Federer in straight sets to reach the final of the ATP World Tour Finals in London on Sunday.
The 27-year-old kept hopes of his first season finale title alive by beating the 7th-ranked Swiss 7-5, 6-3 in front of over 17,000 spectators at the O2 Arena.
The victory marked his second progress into the season-ending tournament since losing to the same opponent in 2010.
“I’m very happy for everything,” said Nadal on reaching his 14th final appearance of the year. “It’s the perfect way to finish the season and it is probably one of my best seasons of my career.
“In a tournament where I have not had much luck in before, it is great.”
Federer ,32, started the encounter better than in his previous victory against Juan Martin Del Potro on Saturday but failed to convert any of three break points in game six, and then dropped tempo thereafter.
When Nadal broke for 5-4 in the first set, the 17-time Grand Slam champion hit back immediately with a brilliant forehand in a stunning rally to make it 5-5, but couldn’t sustain it, handing another break before Nadal ruthlessely converted his second chance to close out the set.
Midway through the deciding set, the Spaniard turned up the heat on Federer, while the latter buried a forehand in the net on break point as the error kept creeping in.
A wayward volley on match point handed Nadal his 22nd victory in 32 meetings between the pair.
“I will try my best in the final,” added Nadal. “It is a special tournament and one of the best events we have in the world of tennis.”
Novak Djokovic meets Stanislas Wawrinka in Sunday’s second semi-final.