Spanish tennis ace Rafael Nadal will have a chance to emulate Bjorn Borg's record of six French Open titles after he cruised into the final of the French Open on Friday with a comfortable victory over Britain's perennial hopeful Andy Murray.
Top-seeded Nadal celebrated his 25th birthday by winning in straight sets 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 in three hours and 17 minutes against the fourth-seeded Scot amid gusty weather.
"There were very difficult conditions, with the wind changing a lot," the man from Manacor, Mallorca said.
Nadal will meet either Swiss legend Roger Federer or this season's dominant player Serbian Novak Djokovic. At press time Federer was leading Djokovic by two sets to one.
With his ankle still strapped up after injuring it earlier in the tournament, Murray fought hard but seldom really bothered the Spanish clay-court maestro, who consistently managed to recover from break points.
Reaching the semifinal was Murray's best-ever performance at Roland Garros, but British fans will have to wait a little longer for one of their male compatriots to lift one of the Grand Slam singles trophies. The last to do so was Fred Perry, 75 years ago at the US Open.
"I'm happy to be back here," Nadal said after the match. "Andy is a fantastic player, he deserves to win a Grand Slam very soon. Now I'm going to play the best player at the moment or the best player in history."
Nadal now has a 44-1 record at the French Open, with the only blemish being his loss in 2009 to Swede Robin Soderling, whom he beat in the quarterfinals this year.
Murray had his chances but he failed to cash in on them. "I had a lot of break points but he played them well," the Scot said. "He was able to dictate the points with his forehand."
Nadal converted six of his 13 break points, while Murray only managed to take advantage of three out of 18 opportunities.
Nadal came into this tournament doubting he was in the right shape to win after a series of losses to Djokovic. But he said his confidence came back after defeating Soderling.