Rafael Nadal suffers French Open semi-final defeat to Novak Djokovic

The story of the 13th day of action at Roland Garros.

Rafael Nadal suffers French Open semi-final defeat to Novak Djokovic

Rafael Nadal suffered just the third loss of his career at the French Open as Novak Djokovic claimed victory in a sensational semi-final.

The world number one lost the first five games but fought back to win 3-6 6-3 7-6 (4) 6-2 after four hours and 11 minutes, with fans given special permission to stay beyond Paris’ 11pm curfew.

On Sunday, Djokovic will take on Stefanos Tsitsipas, who held his nerve to reach a first grand slam final with a five-set victory over Alexander Zverev.

Picture of the day

Novak Djokovic stretches for a backhand with Rafael Nadal watching
Novak Djokovic stretches for a backhand with Rafael Nadal watching (Christophe Ena/AP)

HawkEye debate

Barbora Krejcikova and the umpire debate the contentious mark
Barbora Krejcikova and the umpire debate the contentious mark (Christophe Ena/AP)

Tournament director Guy Forget told Eurosport: “It’s a long debate we’ve had before – the image HawkEye shows and the mark that actually shows on the court can be different. If the ball touches the line and on HawkEye it looks out, should we show it on TV while the system is not 100 per cent accurate?”

New deal for Eurosport

The French Open will be shown in the UK on Eurosport for at least another five years after the channel’s parent company, Discovery, signed a new deal with the French Tennis Federation until 2026.

More tennis in Britain

There will be more tennis events in Britain in 2022
There will be more tennis events in Britain in 2022 (Zac Goodwin/PA)

But the barriers to staging tournaments at the moment, including travel restrictions and prohibitive costs, mean there will be no events from July through September, meaning the cancellation for this year in Glasgow of the Murray Trophy.

Who’s up next?

Krejcikova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova face the biggest match of their careers in an unexpected women’s singles final.

Neither woman had been beyond the last eight at a grand slam before and this will be the first time they have played each other.

France will have high hopes for the men’s doubles final, where 2018 champions Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert take on Kazakh duo Alexander Bublik and Andrey Golubev.

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