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Novak Djokovic downs Rafael Nadal in epic to book place in French Open final

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The Independent
The Independent
 8 days ago

Novak Djokovic brushed off Rafael Nadal in an epic semi-final showdown to remain on course for his second French Open title.

The Serbian will meet Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday’s final at Roland Garros after clinching a second ever triumph over his rival, sealing victory late in the night in Paris 3-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2.

The world No 1 remains on course to become the first male player in the Open era to win every Grand Slam at least twice.

It is Djokovic’s second ever win over the Spaniard, following a famous victory in 2015, though he failed to win the title that year, instead losing to Stan Wawrinka and eventually sealing the title a year later.

Nadal falls to 105-3 all-time on the famous clay surface in the French capital, with Djokovic primed to close the gap on Roger Federer for the most Grand Slam titles by a male player.

The Swiss leads the way with 31 titles, but Djokovic is just two behind on 29 and Nadal one more back on 28.

“The first thing I want to say is it was my privilege also to be on the court with Rafa for this incredible match,” Djokovic said after victory.

“It is surely the greatest match I have played here in Paris. It’s also the match with the best atmosphere and ambiance and energy.”

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