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Nadal to face Federer in ATP Tour final

Rafa Nadal put on an impressive display against Briton's Andy Murray to secure his place in the ATP World Tour Final in London.
Rafa Nadal put on an impressive display against Briton's Andy Murray to secure his place in the ATP World Tour Final in London.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Rafael Nadal overcomes spirited Andy Murray to book place in ATP World Tour final
  • Roger Federer earns comfortable win over Novak Djokovic 6-1 6-4 in other semi
  • Pair have met on 21 previous occasions, with Nadal currently leading 14 matches to seven

(CNN) -- Rafael Nadal will face Roger Federer in Sunday's final ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in London.

Federer dispatched semi-final opponent Novak Djokovic in straight sets 6-1 6-4 on Saturday evening, while Rafael Nadal beat a determined Andy Murray 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 7-6 (8-6) in the first semi-final earlier in the day.

Federer was in ruthless form in the opening set, holding his opening service game to love and then wasted no time breaking the Serb's serve in the next.

Djokovic managed to open his account in the fourth game, but there was no stopping the World No.2 after that as he secured a double break in the sixth, before polishing off the set with trademark efficiency.

The Serb started the second set more promisingly, holding his opening two service games and breaking Federer in between to establish a 3-0 lead.

But Federer broke back in the fifth to restore parity, and broke again in the ninth with a series of wonderful forehand winners, before holding serve to win the set and the match.

Tennis aces feel like rock stars

Earlier in the day, World No.1 Nadal narrowly overcame Britain's Andy Murray in an epic three setter 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 7-6 (8-6).

Roger Federer at the ATP World Finals
World's top 8 compete at the ATP Finals
Rafael Nadal at the ATP World Finals
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Despite a spirited display, Murray's pre-match pessimism earlier in the week turned out to be well-founded, as the Spaniard eventually prevailed in a grueling encounter.

Murray produced his best tennis of the week and there was little to choose between the two men in the first set as they traded some thumping forehands.

But there were few alarms on serve as the set progressed and a tiebreak was the inevitable conclusion.

Nadal secured the first mini-break to go 3-1 up and soon extended his lead to 5-2. But Murray fought back, winning the next three points to level up at 5-5.

But a miscued running forehand by the Scot handed Nadal his first set point which he seized, attacking Murray's serve before delivering a deft drop volley.

The first six games of the second set went with serve, but in the seventh Murray earned himself three break points.

Nadal managed to save them all, but an over-hit return at deuce handed Murray a fourth opportunity which, this time, he secured with a crosscourt backhand winner.

Murray held his next service game to lead 5-3 and when Nadal faltered again on his serve Murray took full advantage and ensured -- to the delight of a rapt crowd at the O2 Arena -- that the match would go to a deciding third set.

Nadal started it the stronger, breaking Murray in the third game and looked as if he would close out the set and the match comfortably. But Murray claimed the 10th game to level the scores at five games apiece as the match headed towards a deciding tiebreak.

Murray had the better of the early exchanges and opened up a 4-1 lead only for Nadal to level things up at 4-4. The Spaniard then seized the initiative which saw him close out the tiebreak 8-6 and take the match to set up a 22nd meeting with Federer.

Nadal has an impressive 14-7 head-to-head record against the 16-time Grand Slam champion, according to atpworldtour.com.

Their last meeting was on clay at ATP Masters event in Spain earlier this year, where Nadal won in straight sets and in their last ten meetings the Spaniard has prevailed seven times.

But it's currently honors even in their hard court meetings with each player having won on three occasions.