The World Tour Finals has their final four and Scotsman Andy Murray is not one of them after Friday night's games. Nadal, who already sealed his spot, might have lost some energy after his game.
Stan Wawrinka knocked Andy Murray out of the World Tour Finals 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 on Friday to set up a second straight London semi-final against six-time champion Roger Federer, while Rafael Nadal won the tournament's Spanish battle, downing David Ferrer in three sets to set up a semifinal clash against Djokovic.
Murray's defeat in front of 17,000 left the Scot with a 1-2 record in the round robin, preventing him from finishing the season as number two behind Novak Djokovic. Only a weekend loss by Federer would hand Murray a season-record finish.
The Scot had his chances in the opening set, recovering from 3-5 down in the first set, but losing five straight points from 4-2 in the tiebreaker as French Open winner Wawrinka took the early lead after more than one hour. The Swiss broke for 1-0 in the second to consolidate his margin, but had to overcome a lapse at the end, twice serving for the match after leading the second set 5-2. Murray briefly came alive for a break-back for 3-5 and closed to 4-5 before Wawrinka advanced on a second match point in the next game.
Is Nadal back?
Nadal had already reached the final four, but he still had to battle for almost two and three-quarter hours with his Spanish countryman. Nadal will take on world number one Djokovic in the 46th edition of their rivalry, with the Spaniard standing 23-22 after losing three times to the Serb this season, including last month's Beijing final.
"I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. It will be a really difficult match against a player who is playing well," said Nadal, who started strongly against Ferrer as he won a rollercoaster set marked by six breaks of serve and a run of four winning games for Ferrer after Nadal had gone up an early double break.
"I believe. I need to play my best to have any chance against Novak. That's what I'm going to try," said Nadal afterwards.
Nadal, with a career highlighted by winning all four majors, an Olympic gold medal and a Davis Cup title for Spain, has been unable to win the year-end championships in six prior appearances. It is the event the 29-year-old has played the most without tasting trophy success.