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Nadal beats Djokovic to place in French Open final

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-06-07

Seven-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal has beaten world number one Novak Djokovic to a place in Sunday’s final, as French crowds gather to cheer on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in his own semi-final battle against David Ferrer.

Rafa Nadal displayed the athleticism and self-belief that earned him seven French Open titles to tame world number one Novak Djokovic 6-4 3-6 6-1 6-7(3) 9-7 in a pulsating 4-1/2 hour Roland Garros semi-final on Friday.

In a match of high-drama featuring a point penalty, a near tumble over the net and trick-shot mishaps, it was the sinew-stretching rallies that made the difference as Nadal withstood Djokovic's baseline onslaught to extend his run at the claycourt major to a jaw-dropping 58-1.

Nadal had stood two points from the final in the fourth set when he inexplicably let Djokovic off the hook by dropping serve at 6-5 up.

Djokovic blitzed through the fourth set tiebreak 7-3 and then streaked into a 4-2 lead in the decider when Nadal's fighting instincts kicked in to leave the Serb floundering.

A forehand long on match point secured Nadal an unprecedented eighth appearance in the Paris final and a meeting against either home hope Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or fellow Spaniard David Ferrer.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-06-07

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