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Nadal to play Djokovic in final

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Highlights: Nadal nets place in Queen's final

Rafael Nadal will face Novak Djokovic in the Artois Championships final after both had convincing wins in the semis.

Nadal lived up to his billing as tournament favourite by beating 2007 champion Andy Roddick 7-5 6-4.

Djokovic thrashed an out-of-sorts David Nalbandian 6-1 6-0 to secure his final spot in the Wimbledon warm-up event.

French Open Nadal will become the first Spaniard since 1972 to win a grass title if he is able to overcome Serbian second seed Djokovic at Queen's.

Nadal broke Roddick in the 11th game, and then served out, saving four break points, to take the first set.

Nadal pleased to beat 'favourite' Roddick

Strong ground strokes from Nadal forced several errors from the American in the second as his attempt to win a record fifth Queen's faded.

"It's very important to me to start well in the grass court season," Nadal told BBC Sport.

Nadal's impressive form is good preparation for Wimbledon where he will be aiming to become the first player since Swedish legend Bjorn Borg to win the French Open and the grass tournament in the same season.

However, the 22-year-old from Majorca was keen to keep his attention on short-term goals.

"I will focus and try and play my best tennis in the final at Queen's, that's more important in my mind than Wimbledon at the moment," he said.

Roddick had no complaints about the result. "I was pretty pleased with the way I hit the ball, but Rafael is just so match-sharp right now," he said.

"I was fighting an uphill battle today but I wanted to come and get some matches under my belt and leave healthy, and I've done that. I've pulled up better than expected."

Novak Djokovic
Djokovic stormed to a crushing defeat of Nalbandian

Meanwhile Djokovic despatched Argentina's Nalbandian with ruthless efficiency in the day's other semi-final.

After conceding only one game in the first set the Serb raced through a perfect second in just 47 minutes to complete a one-sided victory.

"I don't know who was on the court today," said the Australian Open champion.

"David is a great player on grass but he was served pretty weak and I used my momentum."

Looking ahead to the final against Nadal, Djokovic added: "I lost to him last year on grass, but I feel much better and stronger (now) and I am playing with a lot of confidence."


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