Nadal beats Gasquet to reach Rome final

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 4:13 AM ET

ROME -  

Richard Gasquet still can't solve the world's No. 1 player.

Two-time reigning champion Rafael Nadal beat the 16th-seeded Frenchman 7-5, 6-1 Saturday to reach the final at the $3.285 million Italian Masters, the final ATP Masters event before the French Open.

Nadal improved to 9-0 against Gasquet and will face either Novak Djokovic or British star Andy Murray in Sunday's final. Djokovic carries a 37-match winning streak into Saturday's second semifinal at the Foro Italico.

The 24-year-old Nadal is aiming to win the Italian Masters title for the sixth time, having also triumphed here from 2005-07. The Spaniard is now 31-1 lifetime at this tournament, with the lone loss coming against Juan Carlos Ferrero in 2008.

Nadal will be appearing in his sixth ATP final of the year. He captured the Monte Carlo and Barcelona crowns, but lost to Djokovic in last week's Madrid final in addition to setbacks against the sizzling Serb at Indian Wells and Miami.

This week's champion will claim $438,000.

 


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