- Roger Federer beats Janko Tipsarevic 6-2, 6-3 to reach Madrid Masters final
- Federer is chasing a record-equaling 20th Masters title and the No. 2 ranking
- Tomas Berdych will play Federer after beating Juan Martin del Potro 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6)
- Fastest serve record broken in South Korea by Australian journeyman
While Rafael Nadal enjoys a fishing trip in his native Mallorca, Roger Federer is closing on his Spanish rival's No. 2 ranking and his Masters titles record after reaching the final in Madrid.
Nadal, like Novak Djokovic, couldn't wait to get away from the controversial blue clay at the Caja Magica but Federer has made the best of the situation and thrashed Janko Tipsarevic 6-2, 6-3 on Saturday in a one-sided semifinal.
Waiting in the final is Tomas Berdych, who beat a tetchy Juan Martin del Potro 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6) earlier in the day.
Federer will move above Nadal in the rankings if he wins his third Madrid title, and will also equal the Spaniard's record of 20 Masters titles.
"I didn't even know actually about the No. 2 ranking," Federer said. "I'm focused on what I am doing here this week, trying to play well and get on a bit of a roll and I have played better and better as the tournament went on."
Tipsarevic had knocked out fellow Serb Djokovic a day earlier, taking advantage of his compatriot's dislike of the blue clay surface.
But in a match watched by Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, Tipsarevic was no match for Federer, who hit 25 winners to take his head-to-head record over the Serb to 5-0.
Federer's possible rise to No. 2 in the rankings is even more significant with the French Open looming. It means the 16-time Grand Slam champion could avoid playing Djokovic or Nadal until the final.
The victory also took Federer past the $70m mark in career prize money.
Federer will play in his 33rd Masters final on Sunday, while Berdych competes in his third.
The Czech sixth seed took advantage of several lapses by Del Potro, who was broken while serving for the first set and then disputed a series of line calls in the second set.
"He was my toughest match of the week," Berdych said.
Del Potro refused to shake hands with the umpire after the match but said later: "I lost because Berdych played better, and that's the only reason."
Berdych trails Federer 4-10 in head-to-heads byt has won three of their last five meetings.
Meanwhile, the ATP has confirmed that Australian journeyman player Sam Groth served a 263kph (163 mph) ace that broke the record for the fastest recorded serve.
Groth, ranked No. 340, delivered the serve at a Challenger tournament in South Korea to smash the previous record held by Ivo Karlovic at 251 kph (156 mph).
Federer described Groth's effort as an "incredible number."