Djokovic halted Nadal’s bid for a 14th French Open title and handed the King of Clay just his third loss in 108 matches at the tournament by coming back to win a thriller of a semifinal 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-2 at Roland Garros on Friday night.
“Just one of these nights and matches that you will remember forever,” said the top-seeded Djokovic, who reached his sixth final at the clay-court major tournament to tie Bjorn Borg for No. 2 in the event behind Nadal (13).
“Definitely the best match that I was part of ever in Roland Garros, for me, and (one of the) top three matches that I ever played in my entire career – considering quality of tennis, playing my biggest rival on the court where he has had so much success and has been the dominant force in the last 15-plus years. And the atmosphere, which was completely electric.”
The 34-year-old Djokovic will be pursuing his second trophy at Roland Garros and a 19th major championship overall when he plays in Sunday’s final against fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is just 22.
Stefanos Tsitsipas (22 years, 305 days) is the youngest Roland Garros men’s singles finalist since Rafael Nadal (2008; 22 years, five days).
Novak Djokovic vs Stefanos Tsitsipas head-to-head
Novak Djokovic leads Stefanos Tsitsipas 5-2 in the head-to-head and has won their four previous meetings in a row. Djokovic also leads the clay head-to-head 3-0, including the Serb’s thrilling five-set win over Tsitsipas in last year’s semifinals.
Stephanos Tsitsipas in French Open Final! A historic moment in Greek tennis: