Nadal, Federer will meet in Madrid semis

 Sports Network

, Last Updated: 4:07 AM ET

The great rivalry between world No. 1 Rafael Nadal and former top-ranked superstar Roger Federer will resume Saturday when the two tennis icons meet in a semifinal at the $4.202 million Madrid Masters.

Nadal reached the final four with a 75-minute 6-2, 6-2 beatdown of Frenchman Michael Llodra, while a third-seeded Federer got past fifth-seeded reigning two-time French Open runner-up Robin Soderling 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 on the red clay at the Magic Box. Llodra was unable to break Nadal's lethal serve, while Soderling could not break Federer's serve on Day 6. Federer got the one break he needed in the second set against Soderling, who is now 1-16 lifetime versus the Swiss great.

The nine-time major champion Nadal and 16-time Grand Slam titlist Federer will clash for a 24th time, with the Spaniard holding a 15-8 lifetime advantage, including a lopsided 10-2 record on clay. Nadal beat Federer in last year's finale in Madrid, while Federer bested Nadal in the championship match here two years ago.

Federer is a two-time Madrid titlist (2006, 2009).

The reigning U.S. Open, Wimbledon and French Open champion Nadal recently titled on his beloved clay at the Monte Carlo Masters and in Barcelona. The all-time Masters titles leader (18) is currently riding 36-match winning streak on clay.

Another quarterfinal on Friday saw Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci bounce seventh- seeded Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych, of the Czech Republic, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3. Bellucci will now appear in his first-ever Masters semifinal.

This week's winner will collect $874,000.


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