Three-time champion Djokovic was first gifted a spot in Sunday's final when Japan's Kei Nishikori withdrew with a groin injury. (Agencies)
A few hours later the tournament was rocked again when seventh seeded Czech Tomas Berdych announced he was withdrawing due to gastroenteritis, handing Nadal a free pass.
Thousands of tennis fans had arrived at the Crandon Park complex expecting a day of pulsating action but instead were left with two women's doubles matches.
When it was announced prior to the start of the night session that the Nadal/Berdych match would not be played the stadium erupted in an angry chorus of boos, many showing their disgust by turning and heading for the exits.
"Sorry for Kei. Sorry for Tomas. Sorry for the tournament. Especially sorry for the fans," said Nadal about the double walkover. "It's very unlucky, very unusual for something that can happen.
"I cannot remember that (ever happening)."
That would be because a double walkover in the semi-finals of an ATP Tour event is unprecedented in the professional era.
The walkovers, however, left the Sony Open with a mouth-watering final featuring the world's top two players, Nadal and Djokovic set to clash for the 40th time.
Nadal leads the head-to-head 22-17 but has never lifted the Miami title despite reaching the final three times.
"Only chance to win against Novak is play to the limit, play my best and hope that he is not going to have his best day," said Nadal. "For me, I am going on court and trying my best. (It) doesn't make any difference if it's one tournament or another one.
"For sure, Miami is a very important tournament that I never had the chance to win in the past.
"It is my fourth final. It's positive results. To be able to play four finals in one tournament is because you did well, and I am going to try to be ready for Sunday."
Berdych said that all seemed normal following his quarter-final win over Ukraine's Alexandr Dolgopolov until he woke up Friday morning.
"I just woke up with a pain in my stomach, just went for toilet and got really strong diarrhea," said Berdych.
Three-time champion Djokovic was first gifted a spot in Sunday's final when Japan's Kei Nishikori withdrew with a groin injury.