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Djokovic survives Tsitsipas's fight-back, sets Nadal showdown at Roland Garros

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PARIS, Oct. 10 (Net) -- Greece's fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas has done everything and gave all out in a nearly-four-hour match against world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, saving match points and clawing back from 0-2 down to earn a deciding set, but all denied by a dominating top seed in the decider as the Serbian secured a 6-3, 6-2, 5-7, 4-6, 6-1 semifinal victory to advance his fifth French Open final.
As many expected, the Djokovic-Nadal rivalry will present its 56th head-to-head clash in this year's Roland Garros showdown on the Court Philippe Chatrier on Sunday.
The Spaniard booked his berth in the final earlier in the afternoon by a straight-set 6-3, 6-3, 7-6(0) win over 12-seeded Diego Schwartzman, taking revenge for his Rome quarterfinal loss to the Argentine.
Facing world No.6 Tsitsipas, it seemed like another one-sided match for Djokovic as the 17-time Grand Slam winner swept the first two sets and was serving for the match in the 10th game in the third set.
Nobody would have predicted the scenario that followed - the 22-year-old Tsitsipas declared it would not be so easy to beat him as he took risks and fired his backhand down the line regularly to turn the match in his favour.
The 2019 ATP Finals champion saved a match point before producing his first break of the match, after missing the first ten chances, to level the set 5-5.
That did spark the momentum for the Greek, he broke Djokovic's service in the 12th again to claim the set and won another in the fourth.
"I was definitely not pleased with the way I played the finishing stages of the third and fourth sets, but I was very pleased with the way I kept my composure mentally throughout the entire match," said Djokovic. "I did feel that even though I lost the third and fourth, I still felt like I was the better player on the court. I had more control. I just felt comfortable playing."
The Serb restored himself in the decider and played more aggressively on his return to seal it 6-1. The 33-year-old has shown his great ability when played under pressure in recent two weeks as he saved 76 percent break points en route to Sunday's final.
Now the top two seeds - Djokovic and Nadal - will face each other, which would offer big stakes for both sides to seek for.
The two legends have met more than any other two players in the Open Era, a record 55 times, as Djokovic holds a 29-26 lead.
But Nadal was better in Grand Slam clashes (9-6), especially on his favourite clay court (6-1).
They have met in eight Grand Slam finals, with each winning four times. This will only be the pair's second clash in the final of Roland Garros since 2014. They last battled for a major title was at the 2019 Australian Open, where Djokovic won in straight sets.
The result on Sunday will shift the tide in the all-time battle for most major trophies. Roger Federer leads the way with 20 titles, with Nadal (19) and Djokovic (17) right behind. If Nadal lifts a record 13th Coupe des Mousquetaires, he will tie Federer's Grand Slam trophy count for the first time. If Djokovic emerges victorious, he will claw closer to both all-time greats and complete a second career Grand Slam, which no other man has done in the Open Era.
Nadal has won 99 matches in the clay major, which means he had the chance to win the title with a record 100 Roland Garros victory on Sunday.