Rafael Nadal recorded a thrilling 2-6 6-4 6-2 victory over world No 2 Andy Murray on Saturday to set up a Monte Carlo Masters final against homeboy Gael Monfils.
Eight-time champion Nadal, who continues to recover from a recent slump, overcame a strong early showing from Murray to book a spot in Sunday’s final.
Nadal began on a slow note, allowing the Brit to take the opening set before breaking serve in the seventh game of the second to take the initiative.
Another Nadal break at the beginning of the third set was a sign of things to come and the feisty Spaniard demonstrated his mastery on clay as the game wore on to reach the 100th ATP final of his career.
“It’s great to be back in the final,” said Nadal. “Every year is different; I’ll never be the same as I was in 2009 or 2013, I want to play better every day.”
Earlier, Monfils beat eighth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-1 6-3 to become the first Frenchman to reach the Monte Carlo final since Cedric Pioline in 2000.
Monfils, the 13th seed, twice broke Tsonga to tear into a 3-0 lead before closing out the first set 6-1, as his opponent struggled to rouse himself.
He maintained momentum in the second set by racing into a 4-1 lead, and it was already too late when Tsonga found some rhythm.