French Open: Rafael Nadal beats Novak Djokovic in five sets in Roland Garros thriller
Last Updated: 08/06/13 1:37pm
Rafael Nadal: Reached an eighth French Open final
Rafael Nadal moved to within one win of a record eighth French Open title with an epic 6-4 3-6 6-1 6-7 9-7 semi-final victory over world No 1 Novak Djokovic.
He will face fellow Spaniard David Ferrer - who hammered Jo-Wifried Tsonga in the other semi - in Sunday's final.
The Spaniard looked on course for a straightforward afternoon in the Paris sunshine after racing through the third set, only for Djokovic to launch a ferocious comeback.
Third seed Nadal served for the match at 6-5 in the fourth but the Serb broke and then won the tie-breaker 7-3.
The momentum was now firmly with Djokovic as he broke in the opening game of the deciding set and held his next three service games.
But at 4-3 deuce, Djokovic carelessly touched the net as he killed a simple smash and although the top seed saved the subsequent break point, Nadal won the next to level the match.
The set went with serve until the 16th game when Djokovic missed an easy smash in the first point and then watched a superb forehand winner from Nadal fly past him, before going long with a forehand.
Djokovic was finally a beaten man and he put another forehand long to hand victory to Nadal in a shade over four and a half hours.
Nadal's record at Roland Garros is now an incredible 58-1. Djokovic - who was beaten in four sets in the final by Nadal last year - must wait at least another year to complete his haul of all four Grand Slam singles titles.