Rafael Nadal ended his seven-match winless streak against Novak Djokovic with a 6-2, 6-4 win that put him in the Madrid Open final again on Saturday.
Nadal overpowered Djokovic from the start, and converted on his third match point to earn his first victory against the second-ranked Serb since the 2014 French Open final.
It was the 14th straight victory for the fifth-ranked Nadal, and his tour-leading 33rd for the year.
In the final, the four-time Madrid champion will play Dominic Thiem of Austria or Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay.
It was another disappointing loss for the struggling Djokovic, who hasn’t reached a final since winning his first tournament of the year in Doha. This was first tournament since splitting with longtime coach Marian Vajda.