Nadal battles past Djokovic to reach semi-finals at Roland-Garros

Rafael Nadal edged out Novak Djokovic 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(4) in the French Open quarter-finals on Tuesday evening and will face German Alexander Zverev, the No 3 seed, in the next round on Friday.

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Rafael Nadal outlasted Novak Djokovic on Tuesday night in a French Open quarter-final contest that may not have gone five sets but still lived up to the hype. The two all-time greats battled for four hours and 12 minutes before Nadal prevailed 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(4).

It was a roller-coaster affair in which Nadal and Djokovic traded momentum multiple times. The Spaniard squandered a double-break lead in the second set, but he also came back from 5-2 down to win the fourth — and with it, the match.

Nadal’s reward is a semi-final date with Alexander Zverev, a 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(7) winner over Carlos Alcaraz.


Nadal’s path to the semis also included victories over Jordan Thompson (6-2, 6-2, 6-2), French wild card Corentin Moutet (6-3, 6-1, 6-4), Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp, the No 26 seed (6-3, 6-2, 6-4), and 9th-seeded Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime (3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3).

Djokovic’s once promising French Open campaign had been flawless prior to Tuesday. The world No 1 beat Yoshihito Nishioka (6-3, 6-1, 6-0), Slovak Alex Molcan (6-2, 6-3, 7-6 [4]), Slovenian Aljaz Bedene (6-3, 6-3, 6-2), and Argentine Diego Schwartzman, the No 15 seed (6-1, 6-3, 6-3). Nadal, though, proved to be too tough.

Djokovic will surrender the top ranking to either Zverev — if he wins the Roland-Garros title — or Daniil Medvedev in June.

Other men’s singles results on Tuesday:

  • Alexander Zverev beat Carlos Alcaraz (6): 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(7)

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