Top-ranked Novak Djokovic overcame a strong challenge from Rafael Nadal to reach the Monte Carlo Masters final with a 6-3, 6-3 win.

Djokovic, who extended his current winning streak to 16 matches, will face sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych as he bids for a second title at the clay-court Masters.

With Prince Albert among the onlookers, both players produced some stunning tennis as Nadal showed glimpses of his old self, mixing aggression and superb defensive shots.

But the Spaniard, who has been struggling to get back to his best after a wrist injury and an appendectomy, was not consistent enough to deny Djokovic a shot at his fourth Masters title in a row.

Sixth-seed Berdych, meanwhile, reached the final by sweeping past local favourite Gael Monfils 6-1, 6-4.

Czech Berdych breezed through the opening set without facing a single break point.

Monfils, who beat Roger Federer and Grigor Dimitrov en route the semi-finals in the European claycourt season's opening tournament, offered more resistance in the second set but made too many unforced errors.

Berdych now has a 6-1 record against 14th-seeded Frenchman Monfils who came back from an injury absence late last month.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies