Rafael Nadal overcame a late-night classic against his old rival Novak Djokovic early on Wednesday morning in four sets to reach his 15th French Open semi-final. The 13-time Roland Garros champion won the tournament. the 59th meeting in the career of this couple with a score of 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7/4) after the quarter-final lasted 4 hours and 12 minutes. Court Philippe Chatrier.
Nadal had his eighth win in 10 French Open matches against last year’s winner Djokovic to set up a final four-time clash with third seed Alexander Zverev on Friday.
“I’m very emotional. For me, it’s unbelievable to play here,” said Nadal. “This feeling is unbelievable for me.
“Going against him is always an incredible challenge… To win against Novak, there’s only one way, play hard from the first point to the last.”
The 35-year-old has lost just three of his 113 matches on Paris clay since his title-winning debut in 2005 and is now only 30-29 behind Djokovic in career head-to-head records.
The Spaniard, the fifth seed, remains on top of his record-long 22nd Grand Slam title after lifting this year’s Australian Open, something Djokovic missed out on after being expelled from the country for Covid vaccination status.
Djokovic overturned his double-break shortfall to get a second set of 88 minutes and missed two set points when serving for the fourth round to force the decider.
The world number one will try to chase those missed opportunities while he waits until Wimbledon for his next opportunity to bring his Slam tally to 21.
“Congratulations to Rafa, he was better in the key moments,” said Djokovic.
“He showed why he is a great champion. Well done to him and his team, he deserves it.”
Nadal was slightly underrated heading into the match after being led by Felix Auger-Aliassime five sets in the previous round.
The colder and slower conditions of the night trading session are also said to be in Djokovic’s favor.
But ‘King of Clay’ beat 57 winners in a trademark performance to the delight of the audience as he avenged his semi-final loss to the same opponent 12 months ago.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from the syndication feed.)
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