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Nadal claims marathon win over Djokovic to reach 15th French Open semifinal

Paris: Rafael Nadal secured his 15th semifinal appearance by edging archrival Novak Djokovic in an epic quarterfinal clash in the early hours of Wednesday.
The No.5 seed won a breathtaking tiebreak in the fourth set to wrap up the victory over the top seed in four hours and 12 minutes at 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (4).
“He was the better player in the important moments. He showed why he’s a great champion.
Staying there mentally tough and finishing the match the way he did. Congrats to him and his team. No doubt he deserved it,” said Djokovic.
“In the end it has been a very emotional night for me. I’m still playing for nights like today,” said Nadal.
“But it’s just a quarterfinals match. So I didn’t win anything. I just give myself a chance to be back on court in two days. Playing another semifinal here in Roland Garros means a lot to me,” he added.
Next for Nadal is third seed Alexander Zverev, who overcame Spanish sensational teenager Carlos Alcaraz in another dramatic clash earlier on Tuesday. The German needed to dig deep to hold off Alcaraz’s fight-back in the third set to clinch the win 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7) after three hours and 18 minutes. (UNI/XINHUA)

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