Rafael Nadal ended his seven-match winless streak against Novak Djokovic with a swift 6-2, 6-4 win that put him in the Madrid Open final, again.
Rafael Nadal picked up his fifth Madrid Open title when edging past Dominic Thiem in straight sets on Sunday.
Nadal will play either Austrian Dominic Thiem or Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas in Sunday's final, where he will look to add to his recent triumphs in the Monte Carlo Masters and the Barcelona Open.
But Halep, who is also into the semi-finals of the women's doubles with compatriot Irina-Camelia Begu, showed no signs of lacking in energy as she bounced back in emphatic fashion to win the last six games for the loss of just 14 points.
Djokovic was playing his first tournament in Madrid since parting company with his long-term coach Marian Vajda.
Nadal had to battle early and battle late to avoid dropping a set to the Austrian.
Indeed, even with Djokovic opening serve, Nadal won the first four points for an immediate break, helped by a couple of uncharacteristic errors from the Serb. I won three trophies on the ground this year. I just try to go for all of them.
Both players were producing some brilliant winners but Nadal eventually took the breaker 10-8 when Thiem's usually trusty forehand flew just long to end a set which had lasted nearly an hour and a half.
A missed drop shot here and an overhit forehand there saw Nadal gift Thiem a 15-40 lead, but the veteran powered back, saving four break points before sealing match point at the second time of asking.
Nadal improves to 47-10 with five titles at Madrid.
Nadal ensured there was no way back for Djokovic, grasping his chance to serve out the match following defiance from the French Open champion to stand on the brink of a fifth title in Madrid.
That felt like a critical moment and Nadal went on to break in the first game of the second set, before backing it up by holding for 2-0 after a lengthy game.
Thiem also fell victim to Nadal's supreme form in the final in Barcelona two weeks ago, but there was little for the 23-year-old to be dispirited about as he pushed Nadal all the way in his first Masters series final.
Saturday's match between Djokovic and Nadal will be the 50th between the two great rivals, who have won a combined 26 Grand Slam titles.
Nadal, a four-time victor in the Spanish capital, will prove a much sterner examination following his stunning straight-sets success over holder Novak Djokovic. "I see myself being able to win important titles and achieve my goals".
"I could have played better", Djokovic said. "I played well in the first set and although I had a few nerves in the second, that was because I have not beaten him for so long", he commented.