Ferrer, seeded No. 1 and ranked fourth in the world, coasted past Paolo Lorenzi in their quarterfinal encounter 6-3, 6-1. Ferrer eased past Nadal in the world rankings last year while Nadal was recovering from a knee injury that put him on the sidelines for six months.
Nadal, No. 5 in the world and seeded second this week, was a 6-1, 7-5 winner over Leonardo Mayer in Thursday's closing match.
Ferrer already has two titles this year and Nadal has one.
Fabio Fognini earned a semifinal meeting with Ferrer by taking out Santiago Giraldo 7-5, 6-4. Ferrer is 4-0 in his career against Fognini and defeated him earlier this year in Buenos Aires.
Nadal's semifinal opponent will be Nicolas Almagro, a 6-3, 6-4 winner over Horacio Zeballos.
Almagro and Nadal have met eight times and Nadal has won them all. Their last matchup came in the 2012 French Open quarterfinals.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]