French Open: Djokovic survives Tsitsipas fightback, to face Nadal in final

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

Paris, Oct 10 : World no.1 Novak Djokovic survived a fightback from fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in their French Open semi-final to book a title clash against the rampant Rafael Nadal. Djokovic beat Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-2, 5-7, 4-6 in a match that lasted three hours and 54 minutes.

This was the fourth time in Djokovic’s career where he was taken to five sets in the semi-final stage at Roland-Garros.

A double break helped Djokovic take command of the second set and a late break in the third saw him serve for the match at 5-4.

Tsitsipas clung on though, saving a match point before breaking his opponent to draw level, finally converting a break point for the first time in the whole contest, on his 11th opportunity. Djokovic saved set point in game 12 but a sensational Tsitsipas down-the-line forehand winner saw the 22-year-old break again to force a fourth set.

Tsitsipas claimed a fifth game in a row to leap to a 2-0 advantage in the fourth set. But that just prompted Djokovic to snatch the momentum right back as he drew level. From 40-15 up, Djokovic got broken in the 10th game on a netted drop shot attempt to enter a deciding set against Tsitsipas.

He was quick to reverse the momentum in the fifth. Djokovic raced to a double-break lead in the decider and wrapped up the win in three hours and 54 minutes.

Djokovic is chasing an 18th Grand Slam title while Nadal is chasing his 20th.

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