View Photo Gallery: To absolutely no one’s surprise, Rafael Nadal is back in the French Open final for the seventh time in eight years.

Rafael Nadal continued his mastery of the red clay at Roland Garros with another dominant showing against fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in Friday’s French Open semifinals. The six-time champion cruised to a 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 victory and has yet to drop a set in the tournament.

Generally, a semifinal starring the top-seed might be the featured match at a Grand Slam tournament. But Nadal’s return to the final felt like a foregone conclusion while the nightcap between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer is destined to be a much more dramatic affair. (Update: Djokovic beat Federer 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 to reach his first French Open final.)

Fresh off a monumental victory over fourth-seeded Andy Murray, Ferrer had no answer for Nadal’s powerful groundstrokes and relentless court coverage. And when Rafa fell, flipped up a backhanded drop shot from the seat of his shorts and then got up in time to hit a lob to take the point, Ferrer had to know he was in for a short stay on Court Philippe Chatrier.

You canNOT be serious! (Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters)

Nadal is now one win away from a record seventh French Open title, and so far this his 2012 performance has been his best yet. And that’s a scary proposition for whoever survives the Djokovic-Federer slugfest tonight.

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Match schedule & scoreboad: Men | Women