In their 58th career clash, world number one Djokovic triumphed 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 in the semi-final and stays on course to capture a 19th major and become the first man in over 50 years to win all four Slams twice.
Nadal, the defending champion and chasing a record-setting 21st Grand Slam title, refused to dwell on the consequences of his 4-hour 11-minute loss.“I am sad to have lost in the most important tournament of the year for me, but life goes on, it is nothing more than a defeat on a tennis court,” said 35-year-old Nadal.
“If everything goes well, to-morrow I will be at home with my family and friends, and then we will see what is next.” Nadal said he plans to be back in 2022 although admitting that time is not on his side if he wants to re-establish his Paris dominance.
“Although it is a very important tournament for me, I am aware that you cannot win it 15 or 16 times,” he added.“Next year I will come again, God willing, with the belief and with the necessary work to be able to give myself another chance.
”In their 58th career meeting, and ninth at the French Open, Nadal had looked comfortably on course for victory when he raced to a 5-0 lead in the first set. But 2016 champion Djokovic, the man now responsible for two of Nadal’s losses in Paris having also triumphed in the 2015 quarter-finals, hit back.