Barcelona, April 29:

Two-time defending champion Rafael Nadal beat fifth-seeded David Ferrer 7-5, 6-1 for another place in the Open Seat Godo final against Guillermo Canas on Saturday.

The 12th-seeded Canas beat Agustin Calleri 7-6 (1), 6-7 (5), 6-2, missing two match points in the second set of the all-Argentine semi-final before advancing to his second straight final. He lost to Novak Djokovic at the Sony Ericsson Open this month.

Nadal exploited Ferrer’s second serve for 10 winners in the opening set of their all-Spanish match, but barely holding his own serve at 4-5 when Ferrer was two points from winning the set. He broke Ferrer’s serve three times in the second set and extended his winning streak on clay to 71.

“I’ve won the most difficult match of the season,” Nadal said. “The first set was really tough. The key to win this match was to find the rhythm in my forehand. David is very quick and one of the best players in the world. It was a very complicated match today.”

The 21-year-old Nadal can tie Mats Wilander’s 23-year-old record of three straight

championships at the Barcelona tournament. He would also equal Roy Emerson’s and

Manuel Orantes’ record of three titles in Barcelona.

Canas, who needed treatment in the second set for cramps in his right arm and fingers and blisters on his feet, broke Calleri three times in the third set before closing it out in just under three hours. “I hope I find myself feeling better tomorrow, that I can recuperate and be in the best shape possible,” Canas said. “It’s not about breaking the record. I’m not going out there to break the sails of Rafa. What’s at stake is an important title.” Nadal is 2-0 against Canas.

“I think my goal should be to win a set because I didn’t before,” Canas said of his previous matches against Nadal. “But it’s a new year, I have a lot of confidence in my game so I hope it is going to be different.”