South Africa's Kevin Anderson moved one step closer to capturing his second consecutive title.
Top seed Marin Cilic from Croatia outplayed Pierre-Hugues Herbert while Kevin Anderson survived a mighty scare from Mikhail Kukushkin.
World number one Nadal defeated South Africa's world number 32 Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 in a brutally one-sided final during which he did not face a break point.
Rafael Nadal defeated Argentine 24th seed Juan Martin del Potro 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 6-2 to book a date in Sunday's final against South African 28th seed Kevin Anderson.
World number one Rafael Nadal powered into his 23rd career Grand Slam final on Friday, routing Argentina's 24th-seeded Juan Martin del Potro.
Yuki Bhambri had stunned Gael Monfils, the defending champion at Citi Open, earlier.
Kevin Anderson has pulled out of the Chennai Open due to a knee injury.
Janko Tipsarevic's inclusion in the 20th edition of the Chennai Open will see 10 players from world's top 50 list.
Kevin Anderson will start the new season in Chennai on the back of a career high top-10 ranking in 2015 and a maiden entry in the men's singles quarter-finals of the US Open after defeating World No.2 Andy Murray of Britain.
Kevin Anderson now has 1,003 aces in 2015, joining Ivo Karlovic (1,321) and John Isner (1,162) in the 1,000-plus aces club.
Kevin Anderson, US Open quarter-finalist, pulled out of the Champions Tennis League due to personal reasons.
Five-time champion Roger Federer, bidding to become the oldest champion in New York in 45 years, beat Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-3, 6-1. Wawrinka reached the semi-finals with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-0 rout of South Africa's Kevin Anderson.
Kevin Anderson, who knocked out Andy Murray in the pre-quarters, will face Stanislas Wawrinka in the last eight.
Andy Murray, the 2012 champion, lost 6-7 3-6 7-6 6-7 to 15th-seeded South Africa Kevin Anderson, who reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final.
Andy Murray, the 2012 US Open and 2013 Wimbledon champion, advanced in the US Open by ousting Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci 6-3, 6-2, 7-5, and contemplated facing Anderson next.
South Africa's Kevin Anderson recorded a straight sets win over France's Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the final.
Second-seeded South African Kevin Anderson next faces 18-year-old Croatian Borna Coric, who needed only 57 minutes to rout Argentinian Diego Schwartzman 6-2, 6-1.
Novak Djokovic, the defending Wimbledon champion, appeared to aggressively shout "towel" at the startled youngster during a tense moment in his five-set fourth round victory over Kevin Anderson on Tuesday.