Defending champion Andy Murray reached the Madrid Open final with a straight-set victory over Rafael Nadal.
British number one Murray beat the nine-time French Open champion 7-5 6-4 in two hours 11 minutes.
The 28-year-old Scot will face either Novak Djokovic or Kei Nishikori in Sunday’s final at Caja Magica.
Murray is looking to hold on to his world number two ranking, which he will lose to Roger Federer unless he retains his title in Madrid.
Murray, who sent down eight aces and saved 11 of 13 break points, said he has been working hard to improve his serve before the French Open, which begins on 22 May.
“I have spoken to a number of coaches, many who work with young players developing technique, to understand such things as different grips, position on the court and the ideal spot to make contact with the serve,” he told Sky Sports.
“You sometimes get bad habits when you are a professional, not as much technical side as the tactical and physical.”
Murray established an early lead in the opening set of the semi-final, earning three break points in Nadal’s second service game and holding his composure to break the Spaniard.
The momentum appeared to swing Nadal’s way when he responded by taking Murray’s serve, but it was the Scot who took the first set with a winning forehand that broke the home favourite for a second time.
World number five Nadal, 29, was looking for a third successive tournament victory following wins in Monte Carlo and Barcelona last month.
But Murray followed his only double fault with an ace at 2-2 to hold in the second set before immediately breaking Nadal.
Nadal repelled a first match point with a break of his own, but Murray did not waste a second opportunity to repeat his victory over the Spaniard 12 months ago.