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Djokovic defeats Nadal in French Open thriller to reach final

June 12, 2021 6:01 am
Novak Djokovic [Source: SMH]

Novak Djokovic stopped Rafael Nadal’s bid for a 14th French Open title after coming back to win their thriller of a semifinal 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-2.

Terrific as the play was for most of the four hours, the match ended with a bit of a whimper: Djokovic grabbed the last six games.

So Djokovic will be seeking his second trophy at Roland Garros and a 19th major championship overall when he plays in Sunday’s final.

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The top-seeded Djokovic’s opponent will be fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas.

It will be the 29th career Grand Slam final for Djokovic, and the first for Tsitsipas. Tsitsipas beat Alexander Zverev in the semifinals.

Nadal had won the past four titles in Paris, part of his collection of 20 Slams, tied with Roger Federer for the most by a man in tennis history.

The 35-year-old Spaniard is 105-3 for his career — and Djokovic is responsible for two of those defeats.

The masterpiece of a third set lasted 1 hour, 33 minutes alone, and an 11pm nationwide curfew in place because of COVID-19 was approaching.

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