World No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia has ended king of clay Rafael Nadal’s unreal French Open reign, producing an almost superhuman performance to finally knock out the 13-time French Open champion in one of the game’s most spellbinding matches on Court Philippe.
The Serbian won 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 against Nadal, champion in each of the past four years and becoming the first man to beat the Spaniard twice in his Roland Garros kingdom.
Nadal, going for a record-extending 14th title lost at Roland Garros for only the third time in 108 matches.
Djokovic, 34 set up a final date with Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday.
The 22-year-old Greek reached his first Grand Slam final by beating German No. 6 seed Alexander Zverev in a five-set epic earlier on Friday.
Fifth seed Tsitsipas must surely have been watching, like the rest of the tennis world was, as two of the all-time greats fought out a brutal battle for the right to face him in the showpiece.
The high-quality match was full of drama and suspense, twists and turns, as it was played in front of 5,000 fans, who were allowed to stay despite France’s 11 pm curfew as part of its coronavirus restrictions.