French Open - Novak Djokovic downs Rafael Nadal in all-time classic semi-final at Roland Garros
World number one Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal put on a masterclass at Roland Garros in their semi-final as they met for the second consecutive year. Djokovic lost to the 13-time champion in Paris last year and the pair played some absurdly good shots during their huge French Open clash. This time the Serb came through in four sets in a match that will be remembered for a long, long time.
Highlights: Djokovic overcomes Nadal in classic battle in Paris
'One of the top three matches in my life' - Djokovic reacts to epic win over Nadal
Djokovic lost to the 13-time champion in Paris last year and the pair played some absurdly good shots during their huge latest clash - so much so, Andy Murray was among the stars lauding the match.
Remarkably, Djokovic lost the first five games of the match as Nadal roared into a one-set lead, but the top seed found quite staggering levels to beat the King of Clay on Chatrier - surely one of the toughest tasks in sports.
"It has to be that good at the moment!" exclaimed Eurosport's Simon Reed on commentary as Nadal left Djokovic laughing with a drop shot played while running backwards and to the side in a desperate reaction.
A curfew had been put in place for the semi-final but, thrillingly for the fans inside the stadium, they found out after the world number one edged a stunning third set that they would, in fact, be allowed to stay on.
There were wild and joyous scenes as the fans celebrated the announcement more than any of the epic rallies they had witnessed up until that point as Nadal and Djokovic traded breathtaking shots and winners.
Nadal threw everything at the top seed but, after his slow start, Djokovic always seemed to just have the edge when the big points came around and he managed to close out a thrilling four-set win.
Djokovic, 34, has won the French Open once, in 2016, compared to Nadal's 13 titles at Roland Garros but both men are in the hunt to end their careers with the most Grand Slam titles to their names.
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