Rafael Nadal has beaten world No.3 Milos Raonic 6-1 3-6 6-3 in Abu Dhabi to advance to the final of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, an exhibition tournament the Spaniard won last year.
Nadal rolled over the Canadian in the first set, but Raonic battled back to win the second.
The 14-time grand slam winner broke Raonic’s serve in the fourth game of the third set and went on to seal the victory.
Nadal faces David Goffin in the final on Saturday, while Raonic and world No.1 Andy Murray will vie for third place.
The world No. 9 reached the semi-final with a 6-0 6-4 on Thursday against Tomas Berdych.
“Against Berdych, it was a really impressive first set and a really impressive match overall. Today, it was a good match again – not as good as yesterday, but still it was a very good match for me,” Nadal said after defeating Raonic.
Earlier, Murray ended a triumphant 2016 in defeat, beaten for the first time by Goffin.
The 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 loss in the last four of the low-key year-ending exhibition will hardly worry the Scot, who ends the year at world No.1, having won the Wimbledon, Olympic gold and the ATP World Tour Finals.
Murray is a two-time winner of the MWTC but will not be fighting for a third title on New Year’s Eve after being edged out by his Belgian opponent, who had never before taken a set off the Scot.
Murray’s focus now turns to the Qatar Open in Doha as he builds towards his push for an elusive first Australian Open title next month.