Photo: Paul ZimmerDavid Ferrer (ESP)
Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer will face off for the Roland Garros men’s title on after they came through contrasting semifinals to secure their spot in Sunday’s all-Spanish duel.
Nadal needed four hours 37 minutes to see off world No. 1 Novak Djokovic (SRB) 64 36 61 67 97 and remain on course for an eighth Roland Garros title. He would be the first man in history to win eight titles at one Grand Slam event.
The Spaniard came within two points of victory in the fourth set before losing his service game and then the subsequent tiebreak. Djokovic looked on course for victory when he broke early in the fifth set but some tremendous baseline points from Nadal saw him break back and then break to love to win the match.
"Serving for the match at 6-5 in the fourth, I was serving against the wind, so I knew it was going to be a difficult game. I was ready for the fight. In Australia 2012 it was a similar match - today it was me [that won]. That's the great thing about sport."
Ferrer had an easier ride to his first Grand Slam final after he dented French hopes with a 61 76 62 victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The world No. 5 was in control from the outset and advanced to his first Grand Slam final without dropping a set.
"I'm very, very happy," said Ferrer. "This tournament is very special for me and to be the first final of a Grand Slam in Roland Garros is amazing. Now I want to enjoy this moment, to rest tomorrow, and to try my best in the final."