Rafael Nadal is through to his fifth Indian Wells final after overcoming compatriot Carlos Alcaraz 6-4 4-6 6-3 in the California desert.
In a gruelling generational battle, the reigning Australian Open champion managed to overcome his highly-rated opponent amid high winds to extend his remarkable winning record to 20-0 for the year.
The 35-year-old will meet Taylor Fritz, who beat Andrey Rublev 7-5 6-4 earlier on Saturday, in the final.
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Victory for the 21-time Grand Slam winner over the American, who will be making his maiden Masters final appearance, on Sunday would see him level Novak Djokovic's record of 37 ATP Masters 1000 titles.
"In the second [set], the conditions became crazy," Nadal said after the thriller which lasted three hours and 12 minutes.
"It's not funny playing [with] this wind. Even if it's sometimes a challenge, I can enjoy that.
"But in terms of tennis, it's okay. In terms of stopping all the time because [of] the net, [that] was not good.
"In the third, I think I played much better. I played more aggressive, It's true that I saved a couple of balls, but he played some great points too, saving amazing balls."
Alcaraz got off to the perfect start against his childhood idol, going a break up in the opening game with thumping backhand winner, setting the tone for a high quality contest.
The 18-year-old converted both of his break point opportunities, but Nadal continued to apply the pressure from the baseline and converted three of the 17 he produced.
The wind drastically picked up in the second set which saw water bottles fall over and paper regularly blow onto the court. The singles sticks were displaced.
The match turned became one of survival for both players and it was Alcaraz who adjusted better to the blustery conditions, hitting 39 winners compared to Nadal's 20.
In an epic 20-minute game at 4-4, Alcaraz converted his seventh break point before serving out for a third set decider.
The wind eased slightly in the third set and after a cautious opening from both players, Nadal dialled up the pressure.
Alcaraz was able to rescue three break points at 3-2 down, but Nadal got his breakthrough at 4-3 up, sending a blistering forehand down the line before putting the point away with a forehand volley for his sixth break of the match.
The three-time Indian Wells champion then followed up with a love hold of serve to set up a showdown against Fritz in his 53rd Masters final.
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