Nadal battles through to final

Spaniard holds off tenacious Murray; Bhupathi-Mirnyi seal semis spot

The world number one will face either Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic in Sunday's showpiece.

There was nothing to separate the players in an enthralling first set in which both were rock solid on serve but Nadal edged the tiebreak to move ahead.

From 2-3 down in the second set Murray found another gear and reeled off five consecutive games and appeared to be heading for a stunning victory before Nadal roared back.

Nadal seized on a Murray lapse in the decider to break in the third game and had a match point when Murray served at 3-5, only to be stretched into another nerve-wracking tiebreak.

Murray made the better start and forged into a 4-1 lead but his relentless Spanish opponent recovered and stormed into a 6-5 lead. Murray again saved a match point but when a third opportunity arrived, Nadal sealed victory with a forehand.

On Friday, India’s Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi of Belarus clinched the last doubles semifinal spot after defeating South Africa’s Wesley Moodie and Swede Dick Norman 6-4, 6-4. The two finished runners-up in Group B with their victory on Friday, and will now face Group A winners, Poland’s Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski.

“It is nice being in the semifinals,” said Bhupathi. “Going into the match it was a must-win situation for us, so we were glad to get it done. We played pretty well, very solid. I thought we served really well and happy that we won.”

This is the first time Bhupathi and Mirnyi have entered the semifinals in the three times they have take part in the tournament. They had failed to clear the round-robin stages on their first two appearances in 2003 and 2004 in Houston.

Meanwhile in the first doubles semifinal on Saturday, Daniel Nestor of Canada and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia scored a hard-fought 6-3, 3-6, 12-10 over defending champions Mike Bryan and Bob Bryan.

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