Rafael Nadal beats Novak Djokovic in epic to reach French Open semi-final against Alexander Zverev
Rafael Nadal won an epic match against Novak Djokovic to reach the semi-finals of the French Open, where he will face Alexander Zverev. Nadal, a 13-time champion in Paris, held off a strong challenge from world No. 1 Djokovic and rallied from a break down in the fourth set to emerge victorious. Nadal is bidding to win his second Grand Slam title of the season.
'Amazing' - Watch match point as Nadal overcomes Djokovic in epic quarter-final
Rafael Nadal emerged victorious from another titanic French Open clash with Novak Djokovic to move a step closer to a record-extending 22 Grand Slam title.
Nadal, a 13-time champion in Paris, showed all his fighting spirit and quality to win a gripping quarter-final 6-2 4-6 6-2 7-6(3), the match lasting four hours and 12 minutes and finishing at 1.15am local time.
The scoreline doesn't do justice to a remarkable contest – the 59th in the rivalry - that featured several mammoth games, jaw-dropping hitting, fluctuating shifts in momentum, Nadal leading by a double break in all of the first three sets, an 84-minute second set, and Djokovic spurning two set points to force a decider - all played out in a pulsating atmosphere on Court Philippe Chatrier even as the temperature dropped late in the night.
"Novak is one of the best players in history without doubt; so always playing against him is an amazing challenge with all the history we have together," said Nadal afterwards.
“Today was another one, and to win against him there is only one way: to play your best from the first point to the last. Tonight has been one of these magic nights for me; an unexpected level but super happy.”