Barcelona: David Ferrer shrugged off a calf injury worry to reach his second straight claycourt final Saturday as the fourth seed cruised past Spanish compatriot Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 6-4 in the Barcelona Open semi-finals.
Ferrer, beaten last weekend in the Monte Carlo final by Rafael Nadal, is likely to find himself in a repeat of that contest if world number one Nadal gets past Croatian outsider Ivan Dodig in the day's second semi-final.
Ferrer reached his home title shot in just over 90 minutes, earning victory on his fourth match point.
"It was a tough win physically," said Ferrer. "It sas only two sets but they were hard-fought. I was lucky to play my best in the important moments.
"I'm very happy to be in the final, this is a very important tournament for me. I had to play well to get past Nico. I'm hoping to still feel fully fit for the final," said the player who has been bothered by a calf problem after two demanding weeks on court.
"The calf felt OK but I could feel it as the match progressed. But I can recover for Sunday."
Almagro, who will find himself in the ATP Top 10 for the first time in his career on Monday, sent down five aces in the tie but could not prevent a seventh defeat in seven meetings against Ferrer.
Ferrer also forced Almagro to save nine of a dozen break points.
Saturday's win was in contrast to the pair's last meeting in Acapulco two months ago which Ferrer clinched in two hours, 42 minutes.
Nadal, Ferrer and Almagro are the top three-ranked Spaniards, with a local player into the final for a 15th consecutive year at the Real Club de Tenis.
Top seed Nadal has won five of the last six editions but did not play in 2010 due to a knee injury.
Ferrer was playing a Barcelona semi for the fifth year in a row but has never managed a victory after losing the 2008 and 2009 finals to Nadal.
He has now won 18 of his last 22 matches at the event.
Ferrer broke early in the opening set but lost his lead as Almagro got it back for 3-4.
Ferrer rallied in the next game to stay in front with a quick break-back. He earned a break in the fifth game of the second set and was never again seriously threatened.
Ferrer has never faced the 56th-ranked Dodig and has lost to Nadal on 12 of 16 occasions, including twice in 2011.