Nadal, Djokovic sweep into French Open final
Novak Djokovic moved to within one victory of Grand Slam history, crushing Roger Federer 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 to reach a first French Open final and set up a clash with six-time champion Rafael Nadal.
Novak Djokovic moved to within one victory of Grand Slam history, crushing Roger Federer 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 to reach a first French Open final and set up a clash with six-time champion Rafael Nadal. (All AFP and AP Images)
Federer was undone by 46 unforced errors that left him waiting once again to add to his record 16 majors, the last of which came at the 2010 Australian Open.
World number one Djokovic, who already has the Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open titles in his possession, will become only the third man in history to hold all four Grand Slam trophies at the same time if he wins the final.
Tennis great Boris Becker was in attendance to watch the match between Djokovic and Federer.
In a tight opening set, Federer had the first break to lead 3-2 but couldn't capitalise when Djokovic hit straight back. The Serb then served two love games to lead 5-4 before the first set was his when Federer mis-hit a forehand which ballooned beyond the tramlines.
The world number three edged the early break in the second set and held to love and broke again for 3-0. But mistakes cost him and Djokovic capitalised to hit back and take the set 7-5.
Djokovic was completely in charge by the third set and he broke for 4-2 and took the match when Federer buried a backhand return into the net.
Defeat ended Federer's hopes of making a 24th Grand Slam final.
In the other semi-final, despite what the picture may suggest, Rafael Nadal hardly broke a sweat in his quest to make the French Open final defeating David Ferrer 6-2, 6-2, 6-1.
Nadal once again proved to have too much power and drive for his close friend Ferrer, who was bidding to reach a Grand Slam final for the first time in what was his 37th campaign.
"I probably played my best match here at Roland Garros this year. "I am sorry for David to lose like this. He is one of my best friends on the tour and one of the best claycourters," said Nadal.
Such was the dominance of Nadal that at one point he won a marathon rally during which he hit one shot sitting on the court after losing his footing.
The 26-year-old Nadal has the added motivation this year of a seventh title win at Roland Garros, which would snap a tie with Swedish legend Bjorn Borg. He had girlfriend Maria Francesca Perello, aka Xisca, (C) to cheer him on.
Ferrer set up the first two break points of the match in the fourth game, but the steely resolve of Nadal denied him a 3-1 lead. Soon, Nadal tucked away the set 6-2, prompting a change of shirt for Ferrer from white to pink.
In the second set, Rafa secured a third break of serve to lead 4-1 after which the heavens opened to give Ferrer some respite from the Nadal assault.
Play resumed 55 minutes later and Nadal wasted no time in wrapping up the match.