Novak Djokovic ended Rafael Nadal’s reign at the French Open with a four-set win in a classic semi-final which will be ranked among the all-time great matches on the Roland Garros clay.
Serbian top seed Djokovic won 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 against Nadal, champion in each of the past four years.
Nadal, going for a record-extending 14th title, lost at Roland Garros for only the third time in 108 matches.
Djokovic, 34, must now recover to play Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday’s final.
The 22-year-old Greek reached his first Grand Slam final by beating German sixth seed Alexander Zverev in a five-set epic earlier on Friday.
Fifth seed Tsitsipas must surely have been watching, like the rest of the tennis world was, as two of the all-time greats fought out a brutal battle for the right to face him in the showpiece.
“It was one of these matches you can remember forever. It was one of the top three matches in my life,” said Djokovic.