Djokovic resists gallant Tsitsipas to set up Nadal final



Top seed Novak Djokovic resisted a valiant and inspired fightback from Stefanos Tsitsipas to set up a French Open final showdown with old rival Rafa Nadal on Friday, winning a near four-hour battle 6-3 6-2 5-7 4-6 6-1.

Showing no sign of the physical problems that troubled him during his previous match, Djokovic was initially dominant and poised for a routine win when he had a match point at 5-4 in the third set, reports Reuters.

But he had not counted on fifth seed Tsitsipas’s incredible spirit as the 22-year-old fought his way back into contention with some dazzling shot-making.

Tsitsipas stole the third set as Djokovic faltered then staved off countless break points in the fourth before dragging the match into an unlikely decider.

His dream of becoming the first Greek player to reach a Grand Slam final faded away as Djokovic calmly re-asserted his authority against a physically-struggling opponent.

Djokovic sealed victory with a forehand winner, nearly two hours after his first match point.

The Serb advanced to his 27th Grand Slam final where he will meet Nadal for the ninth time in a Grand Slam final and 56th time in total.

Victory would earn him an 18th Grand Slam title while Nadal can match Roger Federer’s record haul of 20.

While Djokovic, who had lost five of his nine previous French Open semi-finals, was given a fright it always looked as though his vast experience would prove decisive.

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