It is now down to an epic final between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the final of the French Open Tennis Championship at Roland Garros on Sunday.
The two have faced each other 55 times with Djokovic leading 29–26.
Djokovic leads 15–11 in finals.
Of these matches, 15 have been in Grand Slams with Nadal leading 9–6.
Nadal leads 6–1 at the French Open and 2–1 at the US Open, while Djokovic leads 2-0 at the Australian Open and 2–1 at Wimbledon.
Rafael Nadal moved within one win of a record-equalling 20th Grand Slam title by reaching the French Open final with a comfortable 6-3 6-3 7-6(0) victory over Diego Schwartzman on Friday.
Nadal was beaten by the 12th seed a little over two weeks ago on the claycourts in Rome but the 12-times French Open champion was a different proposition this time around.
The Spaniard showed he was still the undisputed king of Roland Garros as he notched up a 10th win in 11 meetings over the Argentine.
“Two and a half weeks ago, I lost in Rome,” Nadal said in an on-court interview.
“I’m happy the way I played, how I’ve improved. Today was a very positive win for me.”
A victory on Sunday for the 34-year-old left-hander will bring him at par with Roger Federer in terms of men’s singles record of 20 major titles.
The Spaniard reached his 13th French Open final without dropping a set in this year’s edition.
Schwartzman, playing his first Grand Slam semi-final, had two breakpoints in the opening game but Nadal saved both to win the game after battling for 14 minutes.
The Spaniard went on to break the Argentine twice in each of the first two sets.
The duo traded double service-breaks in the third set before Nadal aced the tiebreak without losing a point.
Schwartzman found the net with a return to hand Nadal victory in three hours and nine minutes.
“It’s a very difficult year. Thank you everyone for coming,” said Nadal, who hit 38 winners during the contest.
“With these conditions it’s very difficult, and it’s still incredible to be in the final again. Thanks to my team, my family. It’s a beautiful moment for me.”
Schwartzman had his chances but could convert only three of his 12 breakpoint chances against the Spaniard, who raised his level under pressure.
In his own match, world number one Novak Djokovic defended resolutely to outlast big-hitting Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3 6-2 5-7 4-6 6-1 in an enthralling contest.
In the semi-final match on Friday in Paris, the Serb won to advance to the final of the French Open.
The Spaniard is also bidding to equal Roger Federer’s record men’s haul of 20 Grand Slam singles titles.
Djokovic, whose 2016 Roland Garros triumph features among his 17 major titles, had a match point in the third set.
But he saw the 22-year-old Tsitsipas fight back spectacularly to level the match at two sets apiece.
Tsitsipas, seeded fifth, ran out of steam in the deciding set.
But he saved another match-point before the 33-year-old sealed the win with a crushing service return in three hours and 54 minutes on Court Philippe Chatrier.
- with agency reports