French Open results: Rafael Nadal makes 13th final at Roland Garros in search for 20th grand slam success

Rafael Nadal in action at Roland Garros

Rafael Nadal and Novako Djokovic will square off for the French Open title on Sunday after both came through their semi-finals at Roland Garros.

The two best players in the world will fight it out for the 56th time in the final of the French Open on Sunday.

Victory for Nadal would bring him a 20th grand slam title and see him draw level with Roger Federer at the top of the all-time list of men’s champions.

A Djokovic win, meanwhile, would take him to 18 and make him the first man in the Open era to lift every slam trophy at least twice.

Djokovic leads the head-to-head 29-26 but Nadal has won six of their seven previous matches at Roland Garros, including both finals, and is bidding for his 13th title on the Paris clay.

Nadal enjoys semi-final stoll

Schwartzman had managed his first victory over Nadal in 10 meetings at the Italian Open in Rome last month but a repeat never looked on the cards in the Spaniard’s fortress.

Nadal’s 6-3 6-3 7-6 (0) victory made it 99 wins and only two defeats at Roland Garros and he will challenge for a 13th title on Sunday.

Victory would give him a 20th grand slam crown, drawing him level with Roger Federer at the top of the all-time list, and few would bet against him.

He was relentless for two and a half sets but a faltering finish will be a cause for optimism for whoever he faces in the final on Sunday.

From 4-2, Nadal’s grip on the match loosened and he had to save three break points at 5-5 before clinching the match on a tie-break to ensure he reached the final in Paris without dropping a set for the sixth time.

The crux of the match in many ways was a first set that averaged more than seven minutes a game. Nadal was largely conservative, using extra height on his shots to counteract the lack of spin caused by the cool, damp conditions.

Schwartzman had four break points but could only convert one while Nadal struck on both of his two chances, wearing the Argentinian down with his consistency and going to his attacking arsenal only when necessary.

Schwartzman lacked the attacking intensity he had shown in Rome, which was perhaps a legacy of his five-hour victory over Dominic Thiem in the quarter-finals.

He looked down and out at 1-3 in the third set but dug in admirably, breaking Nadal twice in succession to pull back to 4-4. Now it was Schwartzman dictating much of the play but, with the Spaniard’s hold for 6-5, the door was closed.

Djokovic survives Tsitsipas scare

Novak Djokovic will face Rafael Nadal for the 56th time in the final of the French Open on Sunday after withstanding a spirited Stefanos Tsitsipas fightback.

Djokovic looked to be easing to a relatively-straightforward victory when he served for the match at 5-4 in the third set only for Tsitsipas to save a match point and turn the contest completely around.

But Djokovic, who showed no signs of the neck and arm problems that bothered him in his quarter-final win over Pablo Carreno Busta, did not panic and reasserted control in the decider to win 6-3 6-2 5-7 4-6 6-1 after three hours and 54 minutes.

The comeback was no more than Tsitsipas deserved after two sets that were nowhere near as one-sided as the scoreline suggests.

The 22-year-old Greek had five break points in the first set – four in the opening game – to Djokovic’s one, but it was the top seed who came out on top.

Tsitsipas looked the better player in the early stages of the second, too, only for Djokovic to withstand the pressure and reel off five games in a row.

The Serbian let out a mighty roar when he broke for 5-4 in the third but Tsitsipas – who won only six games against Nadal in his first slam semi-final in Australia last year – was not finished.

A missed backhand down the line on match point from Djokovic gave Tsitsipas a lifeline and he finally converted on his 11th break point then seized the momentum to make it three games in a row, cleaning the baseline with a forehand winner on set point.

When Tsitsipas capitalised on some loose Djokovic errors to break for 2-0 in the fourth set, it appeared less a plot twist and more a full-blown handbrake turn.

Djokovic broke straight back and had nine further chances to break serve but now it was his turn to feel the frustration as Tsitsipas saved his best for the most important moments.

When the pressure switched to Djokovic, he was found wanting, the 2016 Roland Garros champion dumping an ill-advised drop shot into the net to send the contest to an unlikely decider.

The only time Tsitsipas had come back from two sets down to win was in the first round last week against Jaume Munar, while Djokovic’s only defeat from two sets up in a completed match came in Paris against Jurgen Melzer 10 years ago.

If Djokovic was concerned, he did not show it, and a break for 2-1 turned out to the beginning of the end as a weary Tsitsipas found nothing left in the tank.

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