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Nadal outplays Murray to reach French Open final

Five-times champion Rafa Nadal sparked off his 25th birthday celebrations on Friday by blowing Andy...

Rafael Nadal beat Andy Murray to reach the final of the 2011 French Open on 3 June. Picture: AFP

Five-times

champion Rafa Nadal sparked off his 25th birthday celebrations on Friday

by blowing Andy Murray off court with a 6-4 7-5 6-4 win to reach the

French Open final.

The Spaniard, bidding to equal

Bjorn Borg's record of six titles at Roland Garros, outplayed the

British fourth seed in a three-hour-17-minute display of power and

stamina as he set up a much-awaited showdown with Roger Federer or Novak

Djokovic.

Nadal, who will lose his

world number one spot if the Serbian second seed reaches the final

later on Friday, was at his brilliant best at times on court Philippe

Chatrier.

His amazing court

coverage, vicious forehands and crosscourt backhands were too much to

handle for Murray, who was bidding to become the first British man to

reach the final at Roland Garros since Bunny Austin in 1937.

Nadal,

who now has a 44-1 record at the French Open, teased Murray by handing

him a few openings. But that was as good as it got as the fourth seed

because every time he earned a break point, Nadal slammed the door shut

with yet another fizzing winner.

Timeline

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