Novak Djokovic ended Rafael Nadal’s reign on the French Open with a four-set win in a classic semi-final which will likely be ranked among the many all-time nice matches on the Roland Garros clay.
Serbian high seed Djokovic gained 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 in over 4 hours towards defending champion Nadal.
The 35-year-old Spaniard, going for a record-extending 14th title, misplaced there for under the third time in 108 matches.
Djokovic, 34, should now get better to play Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday’s closing.
The 22-year-old Greek reached his first Grand Slam closing by beating German sixth seed Alexander Zverev in a five-set epic earlier on Friday.
Fifth seed Tsitsipas should absolutely have been watching, like the remainder of the tennis world was, as two of the all-time greats fought out a brutal battle for the best to face him in the showpiece.
The high-quality match was stuffed with drama and suspense, twists and turns, all through because it was performed in entrance of 5,000 followers, who have been allowed to remain regardless of France’s 11pm curfew as a part of its coronavirus restrictions.
That choice got here after a outstanding 96-minute third set which noticed Djokovic maintain his nerve to win a tie-break on which the entire match appeared to hinge.
Nadal did break serve in the primary sport of the fourth set and led 2-0, however couldn’t deal with Djokovic’s sky-high degree as he shortly gained the following six video games to wrap up victory.
Djokovic appeared shattered as he raised his arms in celebration, then wearily broke right into a smile as he ready for the on-court interview given by the winner.
“To win against Rafa on this court you have to play your best tennis, and tonight I played my best tennis,” mentioned the Djokovic, who may now win his nineteenth Grand Slam title and go one behind Nadal and Federer’s all-time males’s report.
“It’s hard to find the words to sum up how I feel. You tell yourself there is no pressure but there is. Pressure is a privilege – to test my game and my character in matches like this.”
More to observe.