World Tennis Championship: Andy Murray beats Rafael Nadal
Andy Murray beat a top-four player for the first time since the 2013 Wimbledon final when he defeated Rafael Nadal 6-2 6-0 in the semi-final of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.
The Scot, 27, was too strong for Nadal, who displayed signs of rust in his first match since October.
He faces Novak Djokovic, who he beat to win Wimbledon, in Saturday's final.
"It was closer than the score suggests. While he had a lot of break points I won the important ones," Murray said.
"You never know how you will get on until it comes to match conditions, but it seems that all the pre-season hard work is paying off."
The six-man exhibition event is the unofficial season opener with top seeds Nadal and Djokovic receiving byes to the semi-finals.
Murray had beaten another Spaniard, Feliciano Lopez, 7-6 5-7 6-4 in Thursday's opening match and that outing clearly benefited the world number six, who looked far sharper than his opponent.
|Murray's ATP Tour wins over Nadal|
|Tokyo||2011||3-6 6-2 6-0|
|Melbourne (Australian Open)||2010||6-3 7-6 3-0 (ret)|
|Rotterdam||2009||6-3 4-6 6-0|
|New York (US Open)||2008||6-2 7-6 4-6 6-4|
Nadal was playing his first match since losing to 17-year-old Borna Coric in the Swiss Open, and his lack of game time was evident as he failed to convert any of his 12 break points.
Murray raced into a 3-0 lead and broke Nadal twice as he comfortably took the first set.
The Scot broke again in the second game of the second set and after saving five break points in the next game, broke again to take a 4-0 lead.
He was struggling with his first serve, but Nadal again failed to convert another four break points in the next game before Murray broke the Spaniard for a fifth time to seal victory.
In the other semi-final, world number one Djokovic played his first game in six weeks but continued his impressive 2014 form as he restricted last year's Australian Open winner Stan Wawrinka to just three games in an impressive 6-1 6-2 victory.