'Can't believe it': Tennis world stunned by 'crazy' Novak Djokovic drama

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·5-min read
Novak Djokovic, pictured here in action against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the French Open semi-finals.
Novak Djokovic reacts after a point against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the French Open semi-finals. (Photo by THOMAS SAMSON/AFP via Getty Images)

The tennis world was left in a state of disbelief on Friday when Stefanos Tsitsipas saved a match point in the third and sent his semi-final clash with Novak Djokovic to a fifth set.

Djokovic had one foot in the final against Rafael Nadal before Tsitsipas produced an extraordinary comeback.

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After dropping the first two sets 6-3, 6-2, Tsitsipas saved a match point against Djokovic on his way to winning the third set 7-5.

The top-ranked Djokovic was serving at 5-4 and advantage but Tsitsipas saved the match point.

Djokovic was given a time violation in that game on his way to dropping his serve for the first time in the match.

The World No.1 then coughed up his serve again in the fourth at 4-5, allowing Tsitsipas to send the match to a deciding set.

Tsitsipas saved four break points in the seventh game and the fifth-seeded Greek saved a break point in the ninth game with an ace.

Djokovic was serving to stay in the set and tried one drop shot too many. His last effort was too short and sank into the net.

But in the last twist to an extraordinary match, Djokovic blew Tsitsipas off the court in the fifth set, winning it 6-1 to advance to a mouth-watering clash with Nadal.

Tennis fans and commentators couldn’t believe their eyes.

Rafael Nadal awaits in French Open final

Earlier, Nadal moved within one win of a record-equalling 20th grand slam title by reaching the French Open final with a comfortable 6-3 6-3 7-6(0) victory over Diego Schwartzman.

Nadal was beaten by the Argentine 12th seed a little over two weeks ago in Rome but the 12-time Roland Garros champion showed he was still the undisputed 'King of Clay' as he notched up a 10th win in 11 meetings over the game but outclassed Schwartzman.

A victory on Sunday for the 34-year-old left-hander will tie him with Roger Federer's men's singles record of 20 major titles.

The Spaniard reached his 13th French Open final without dropping a set in this year's edition.

Schwartzman, playing his first Grand Slam semi-final, had two break points in the opening game but Nadal saved both to win the game after battling for 14 minutes.

Rafael Nadal, pictured here after his win over Diego Schwartzman at the French Open.
Rafael Nadal celebrates his win over Diego Schwartzman at the French Open. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

The Spaniard went on to break the Argentine twice in each of the first two sets.

The duo traded double service breaks in the third set before Nadal aced the tiebreak without losing a point.

Schwartzman found the net with a return to hand Nadal victory in three hours and nine minutes.

“I'm playing the most important tournament of the year - that's what motivates me,” Nadal said after the match.

Nadal improved to 99 wins and only two losses at the French Open, including a combined 25-0 in semi-finals and finals, as he seeks a fourth consecutive title in Paris.

That would add to the 34-year-old Spaniard's previous streaks of four in a row from 2005-08 and five from 2010-14, to go along with four trophies at the US Open, two at Wimbledon and one at the Australian Open.

He has won all 15 sets he's played over the past two weeks, making a mockery of the supposed explanations for why this year, so different for so many reasons, might be different for Nadal in the City of Lights.

with agencies

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