Rafael Nadal to face Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo final
Eight-time champion Rafael Nadal will play world number one Novak Djokovic in Sunday's Monte Carlo Masters final after straight-sets win for both men.
Nadal withstood a blistering fightback from Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to remain on course for a ninth Monte Carlo title.
The Spaniard, 26, let a 5-1 lead slip in the second set but finally saw off the Frenchman 6-3 7-6 (7-3) on his fifth match point.
Djokovic swept past the unseeded Fabio Fognini 6-2 6-1 in the second semi.
The Serb, 25, had during the early rounds but showed no signs of discomfort as he dismissed Fognini, playing his first Masters semi-final, in just 52 minutes.
Nadal's unbeaten run in Monte Carlo now stands at 46 matches over 10 years, and he will look to repeat last year's final win over Djokovic in what will be their first meeting since last year's French Open final.
"I will have to be at the top of my game. I'm ready for it. I know what I need to do," said Djokovic.
"I had enough tests already this week so I'm happy I can be fresh."
After a bright start to the first semi-final, Tsonga missed three break points in the fourth game and began to struggle, losing his next service game and making 17 unforced errors as the set slipped away.
Nadal, playing his fifth tournament since returning from a seven-month injury break, was in full flow in the early stages of the second, powering into a commanding 5-1 lead.
Tsonga was not done, however, and with the match seemingly gone he resorted to all-out attack, recovering both breaks of serve and saving four match points on his way to a tie-break.
At 3-3, the match remained in the balance, but errors crept back into the Frenchman's game at the crucial moment and Nadal wrapped up the win in one hour and 36 minutes.
"I'm going to try to play my best match and try to get a chance to win the final," said Nadal.
"He's not the perfect opponent (for my game). But if you don't feel a special feeling when you are playing the final of Monte Carlo, you'd better go back home, play golf and go fishing.
"He brings you to the limit of your game if you want to have chances to win. I know I have to play better than I did today and yesterday to try to win tomorrow.
"I have to play more aggressive, I'm going to try."