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Nervy Nadal edges Djokovic

07 June 2013, 17:11

Paris - Defending champion Rafael Nadal has moved closer to an historic eighth French Open title on Friday when he defeated world number one Novak Djokovic 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7 (3/7), 9-7 in a pulsating semi-final.

In a match of high-drama featuring a point penalty, a near tumble over the net and trick-shot mishaps, it was the sinew-stretching rallies that made the difference as Nadal withstood Djokovic's baseline onslaught to extend his run at the claycourt major to a jaw-dropping 58-1.

Nadal had stood two points from the final in the fourth set when he inexplicably let Djokovic off the hook by dropping serve at 6-5 up.

Djokovic blitzed through the fourth set tiebreak 7-3 and then streaked into a 4-2 lead in the decider when Nadal's fighting instincts kicked in to leave the Serb floundering.

A forehand long on match point secured Nadal an unprecedented eighth appearance in the Paris final and a meeting against either home hope Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or fellow Spaniard David Ferrer. 


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