For the first time this week Novak Djokovic needed only two sets to triumph in Rome, beating Spain's David Ferrer 6-4, 6-4 as he reached the final and closed in on a 24th Masters 1000 title.
The Serb world number one, bidding for his fourth Rome Masters title, will face either Roger Federer in Sunday's final at the Foro Italico after Federer saw off his compatriot 6-4, 6-2.
Djokovic's winning streak now stands at 21, but he has been forced to earn them this week with closely fought victories over Nicolas Almagro, Thomaz Bellucci and Kei Nishikori.
He seemed to move up a level against Ferrer though with a clinical display. The top-seed needed just two breaks of serve to clinch a ninth consecutive win over Ferrer.
"I played the best match of the week," Djokovic told Sky Sports Italia. "I'm satisfied with the way I played and happy to be in another final in Rome."
Sharapova to face Navarro
In the women's draw, there was better fortune for a Spanish player with Carla Suarez Navarro defeating Romania's Simona Halep 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 to reach her ninth career final.
Suarez Navarro next meets twice Rome champion Maria Sharapova who downed Russian qualifier Daria Gavrilova 7-5, 6-3.
|Sharapova will return to second in the world rankings after reaching the final [Getty Images]
Sharapova had to work extremely hard to defeat fellow Russian Gavrilova who left the court after the 11th game for treatment to an abdominal muscle injury and was clearly hampered on her return.
Suarez Navarro is the form player on the WTA Tour this year with 31 wins but she was two points away from losing in the 10th game of the final set before turning the tide.
"It was such a tough match from a physical standpoint," she said. "The biggest improvement I've made this year is in my mind."