French Open 2020 Semifinals: Djokovic beats Tsitsipas, to meet Nadal in the final - as it happened

Novak Djokovic survived a massive scare from Stefanos Tsitsipas to enter a fifth Roland Garros final, sets up a summit clash with Rafael Nadal on Sunday.

Novak Djokovic is chasing a second Roland Garros title and 18th Grand Slam to become the first man in half a century to win all four majors twice as he meets Rafael Nadal in the final on Sunday.   -  Getty Images

Two streaks will run riot on Sunday: Novak Djokovic who is unbeaten in 2020 takes on the ultimate force of the French Open, Rafael Nadal, who has never lost in his 12 appearances in the final here. As for the scripts, we have just the perfect game right from the heavens with the World No.1 and World No.2 locking horns in Paris. See you soon!

After a shock exit at the US Open, this has been a spectacle at the Roland Garros for both the semifinalists - Djokovic and Tsitsipas. From the brink of defeat in the third set, 22-year-old Tsitsipas adorned the night with some extended magic as he forced his way back through. Indeed, this was the coming of age of the man (the scoreline would not reflect the same). Novak Djokovic, in moments looked down and out in this game but he never floundered under mounting pressure - essentially showing a champion's heat to fend off a massive upset.

 

Djokovic beats Tsitsipas: 6-3, 6-2, 7-5, 6-1 to enter his 5th French Open Final!

30-30 Wobbly on his feet but Tsitsipas's haven't worn one bit! MATCH POINT FOR DJOKOVIC! Ruthless return on the second serve. DEUCE and Stefanos fights back once again from the brink to force an Advantage!  Double Fault from Stefan and we are squared once again! ACE! He's back in the lead! MATCH POINT once again for Novak! AND THERE IT IS! NOVAK DJOKOVIC SURVIVES A MASSIVE SCARE TO ENTER THE FINAL!

Tsitsipas serves to stay in the hunt!

DJOKOVIC 5:1 TSITSIPAS

40-15 Novak has stepped up on serve and is cruising through. Just a matter of time now! Game, Djokovic. Within a game of the Roland Garros final!

DJOKOVIC 4:1 TSITSIPAS

15-15 Djokovic forces Tsitsipas down the baseline and masters the drop shot once again! A visual spectacle! 40-15 BREAK POINT FOR NOVAK! Tsitsipas slowly losing steam! NOVAK BREAKS! Tsitsipas seems to be tired as a double-fault is slowly crashing his dreams of a first-ever Grand Slam final.

 

DJOKOVIC 3:1 TSITSIPAS

30-0 It's a test of physicality from here on as Tsitsipas clenches his teeth after running for the ball. Novak looking solid despite the Greek test. 30-30 Tsitsipas drops his art now, on the far left of the Serb who stood no chance. Djokovic doubles the lead! Tsitsipas under the pump now.

DJOKOVIC 2:1 TSITSIPAS

15-15 the first signs of despair from Novak as he fails to keep the lob pass in play. 30-15 Top stuff from Novak to make the stretch to return. The two are perhaps at the acme of possibilities now! Break point for Novak!  BIG MOMENT........ 40-30 out of the world tennis. A humdinger of a point but Tsitsipas emerges winner across a brilliant rally! GAME, DJOKOVIC BREAKS, FINALLY! Game on, folks! What a show of character from Novak tonight.

DJOKOVIC 1:1 TSITSIPAS

40-0 the drop-shot art is back! Sailing through the serve now, Novak. Game, Djokovic. He manages to hold comfortably.

Djokovic cannot afford any more slip-ups on serve.

DJOKOVIC 0:1 TSITSIPAS

40-30 BREAK for DjokovicAdvantage Stefanos! This is indeed an incredible surge from the Greek. Game, Tsitsipas! He has broken out of jail once again. Novak is trailing in this game by a whisker.

We are going the distance now!

 

Tsitsipas wins 4th set: 6-4

0-15 Double fault from Novak! 15-15 Novak lobs this one from return and Tsitsipas misses the tweener far out. 40-15 OH MY MY! Amazing court coverage from Novak to reach the drop from Stefanos as he carves a tough angle for the winner!  40-30 Stefanos returns the compliment with a beautiful drop shot! Matching up to Novak! DEUCE Novak in the heat now!!  GOODNESS ME! TSITSIPAS ON SET POINT!  Would you believe it? We are going the distance!! What a night in Paris as Tsitsipas' magical comeback adorns the night.

DJOKOVIC 4:5 TSITSIPAS

30-30 Sheer artistry from Djokovic as the drop once again floors Stefanos! DEUCE Djokovic knows the importance of this particular game and he's keeping at it now, hoping to needle a mistake from Tsitsipas. Advantage Novak! He weaves his drop-shot magic once again, putting Tsitsipas on the back foot. DEUCE, cracking serve once again and Tsitsipas takes the Advantage! Game, Stefanos! He holds and is within striking distance of making a fifth set for the night! What a duel this has been, exemplary resurgence from Tsitsipas.

DJOKOVIC 4:4 TSITSIPAS

30-0 Powerful serves on to Tsitsipas' forehand from Novak! AND HE HOLDS!

DJOKOVIC 3:4 TSITSIPAS

30-15 a double-fault followed by awful shot wide off court from Tsitsipas on serve. 40-15 another break point for Novak!  Brutal on serve! Tsitsipas forces a DEUCE. Advantage Novak, he seems vacant with his expressions but a stifling winner moves past Tsitsipas in a moment. Top-draw stuff from both players. Another DEUCE, Tsitsipas evading another break.  Game, Tsitsipas! Novak fails to break with four chances up his sleeve. He has squandered his chances to break the Tsitsipas serve off late. Will it return to haunt the Serb?

DJOKOVIC 3:3 TSITSIPAS

15-15 Djokovic tries the approach but Tsitsipas pulls one down the line to take advantage!  40-15 another magical drop! Djokovic has resorted to the drop to push him out of trouble on numerous occasions tonight. HE HOLDS!

DJOKOVIC 2:3 TSITSIPAS

30-30 Close moments on serve for Tsitsipas, Djokovic slowly gaining back his momentum.  DEUCE the serves aren't getting easy for either player now. ADVANTAGE NOVAK! Another break point for Novak.  DEUCE Tsitsipas roars as he smashes in a belligerent backhand.  Game Tsitsipas! Nerves of steel from Stefanos! Survives a couple of break points there as he fends off Djokovic once again who seems a little wobbly on return.

DJOKOVIC 2:2 TSITSIPAS

30-15 Nervy little moments for Novak, looking a bit vulnerable but still on top on serve now.  GAME, Djokovic. We are level in the fourth now! What a match this has been!

DJOKOVIC 1:2 TSITSIPAS

40-0 a champion's reply! Djokovic forcing a break on Tsitsipas' serve. AND HE BREAKS! Novak has not lost his composure despite going a tad down off late. A gentle yet powerful comeback has him crawl back halfway.

 

DJOKOVIC 0:2 TSITSIPAS

0-15 Another stunning return from Tsitsipas towards Djokovic's backhand. He looks on in silence.  0-30 a double fault from Novak! Ominous signs are brewing for the Serb. 0-40 Classical finish from Tsitsipas Djokovic tries his go-to drop shot but Tsitsipas makes the cross-court return just in time! The tables have turned massively! Tsitsipas breaks Djokovic!

DJOKOVIC 0:1 TSITSIPAS

30-40 Djokovic bears a troubled face now, Tsitsipas growing in confidence.  ADVANTAGE TSITSIPAS a gorgeous backhand winner puts him in the lead. A series of exchanges on the lead and we are back at DEUCE.  Massive hold from Tsitsipas!

AND SO WE KEEP MOVING!

TSITSIPAS wins Third Set: 5-7

15-0 another quality drop from Novak that fools Tsitsipas! 30-0 he doubles up with another. Genius stuff from the Serb! 30-30 Tsitsipas's gritty resolve keeps him fighting here. Brilliant in the last 15 minutes or so! SET POINT FOR TSITSIPAS! Goodness me!  DEUCE Clinical from Novak. Cracks in a snorting first serve and backs it up with another strong forehand.  ADVANTAGE TSITSIPAS! He is back at it! Putting Novak under pressure on serve! UNBELIEVABLE COMEBACK FROM TSITSIPAS! Just moments earlier he was at on the brink, down and out. A magical comeback now has the third set written under his name. Djokovic feels the pressure for the first time tonight.

DJOKOVIC 5:6 TSITSIPAS

30-0 finally wobbles on serve does Tsitsipas. Novak in the lead.  30-40 back on his feet with the serve and Tsitsipas holds! Brilliant two games from the 5th seed. Will he stomp Novak to slash the set?

DJOKOVIC 5:5 TSITSIPAS

15-0 He weaves it with elan now does Djokovic, relishing the moment with a touch of class as he slices it out of Tsitsipas' reach. 15-30 Tsitsipas isn't giving up just yet. 30-40 a little too excited from Djokovic, tries another cheeky which crashes the net. Match Point for Djokovic! Oh wait...! Tsitsipas has the advantage now! Stunning reflex volley from the Greek to keep it barely alive. DEUCE powerful second serve from Novak as he signals to his team in delight. Another break point for Stefanos! Fend it wide off Novak on return who had to stretch to barely get it past the net. Tsitsipas smashes the volley! WE ARE LEVEL AGAIN! Tsitsipas saves two match points to keep himself alive in this contest.

 

Djokovic serves for the match! Rafa, here he comes!

DJOKOVIC 5:4 TSITSIPAS

15-0 Tsitsipas misjudges the lob from Novak to fall out but it doesn't, squanders the ball on return. 15-30 much more composure from Tsitsipas, lesser antics and aggression and there seems to be an ease with what he does, a little too late?  30-40 Djokovic dishes the crosscourt backhand wide off court. DEUCE deadly moments for Tsitsipas, he fails to cash in on the early lead and there he is in unpleasant waters. ADVANTAGE DJOKOVIC! The pressure is telling on Tsitsipas now, break point for Novak!  Djokovic roars and soars! Insane finish from the Serb as he wears down Tsitsipas to finally force the break in the third set!

DJOKOVIC 4:4 TSITSIPAS

15-0 Deceptive from Novak! Pushes Tsitsipas deep into the baseline before sending out a classic drop shot, artistic touch! 30-0 there goes another deadly drop from the volley! Game Djokovic, he holds back level in under a minute.

DJOKOVIC 3:4 TSITSIPAS

15-15 Bullet forehand from Novak! Tsitsipas is floundered by pace as he approaches the net. 30-15 Djokovic in the lead, nervy serve for Tsitsipas. 30-40 Searing first serve down the line, Novak stretches but holds on to it as Tsitsipas smashes a cracking return.  Tsitsipas hangs on, a hold!

DJOKOVIC 3:3 TSITSIPAS

30-0 Easy for Novak. His serves scuff up Tsitsipas time and again, making it seemingly impossible for him to overhaul the Serb on serve. Game, Djokovic. He is cruising through now.

Can Tsitsipas force the tide here?

 

DJOKOVIC 2:3 TSITSIPAS

0-40 Terrific on serve once again. Not giving Djokovic the luxury of time. Brilliant from Tsitsipas! He holds  to keeps his hopes alive, barely!

DJOKOVIC 2:2 TSITSIPAS

Two fairly swift games passes by as Djokovic holds his serve again.

DJOKOVIC 1:2 TSITSIPAS

15-15 Tsitsipas slays the drop and volley once again on serve. He holds.

DJOKOVIC 1:1 TSITSIPAS

30-15 The occasional winners from Tsitsipas is his only takeaway apart from a dominant first-serve, neither of which, sustained over the course of a defining moment in the game.  DEUCE Novak tries the backhand drop but narrowly misses out at the net. ADVANTAGE TSITSIPAS Another cross court ripper from the Greek!  ADVANTAGE NOVAK how quickly the tables turn. Tsitsipas hopelessly lobs the ball before Novak smashes it with disdain. Djokovic Holds! Too good from the world number 1!

 

DJOKOVIC 0:1 TSITSIPAS

Fine start from Tsitsipas as he holds on serve this time around in the third set.

Terrific from the World No.1 as Tsitsipas stoops down at the crunch moments. His first serve game was on point but when it mattered Tsitsipas faded away as the Serb stayed put at the other end.

DJOKOVIC wins Second Set: 6-2

15-0 Bang. An ace down the line from Novak. 40-0 SET POINT! NOVAK TAKES THE SECOND SET with another cracking ace!

DJOKOVIC 5:2 TSITSIPAS

15-40 Another quick serve from Stefanos! DEUCE he bottles the lead again. Inexperience lingering around for Tsitsipas. NOVAK BREAKS AGAIN! Tsitsipas races on his serve at the start but fails to seal the game later on. Poor from the young lad given the stage and the man at the other end. Novak now serves for the set.

DJOKOVIC 4:2 TSITSIPAS

30-15 hopeless lob from Tsitsipas, feeds it to Novak who was waiting forever to smash. Fair Hold for Novak.

Novak is surely changing gears from here..

DJOKOVIC 3:2 TSITSIPAS

0-40 Tsitsipas has been fairly unmatched so far on the duration on the serving game. Forcing the pace. DEUCE oh boy! Looks like I've jinxed the man's serve. Djokovic pulling it through now.  UNBELIEVABLE Tsitsipas' serves falls down the spiral in a matter of moments as Djokovic breaks!

DJOKOVIC 2:2 TSITSIPAS

0-15 Gun from Tsitsipas! Swiftly pounces on the volley at the net as sears it through to the other end, Djokovic could barely move.  15-30 Excellent control on the forehand from Stefanos as he creates an angle at the right off Djokovic to thump the winner. 40-30 Somehow it's again Djokovic in the lead despite his opponent's brilliance. Djokovic holds. Tsitsipas nearly had a break but falters to finish once again.

1 hour on the clock...

DJOKOVIC 1:2 TSITSIPAS

30-30 Tsitsipas looks on another plane altogether with his first serves. A delectable viewing to the eye, even Novak wouldn't complain. Tsitsipas holds.

 

DJOKOVIC 1:1 TSITSIPAS

0-30 Tsitsipas coming back into this one. Forcing the errors off Djokovic's forehand.  30-30 he bottles the lead. Tsitsipas could have crashed the forehand to either side but he feeds it to Djokovic for the volley. DEUCE Djokovic manages to up the ante on his serve every time under pressure.  Tsitsipas' cross court forehand is a delight to watch! 7 minutes and running this game! Djokovic holds but barely. Tsitsipas had a fairly good chance to force the break but the Serbian serve just got better with time.

DJOKOVIC 0:1 TSITSIPAS

0-30 Gorgeous cross-court forehand from Tsitsipas. 0-40 ACE from Tsitsipas. Tsitsipas Holds stupendous start to the second set with a polished first serve from Tsitsipas.

 

DJOKOVIC WINS FIRST SET: 6-3

30-0 Masterclass from Novak! Two successive drop shots has Tsitsipas look dumbstruck. SET POINT FOR NOVAK! DEUCE! Three horrific shots from Djokovic as he helps Tsitsipas squares this game.  ADVANTAGE NOVAK Tsitsipas is frustrated after pushing it wide after a good rally. NOVAK TAKES SET 1. Easy for the world no.1 in the end!

DJOKOVIC 5:3 TSITSIPAS

15-0 Magnificent drop shot from Djokovic, waltzes Tsitsipas. Tsitsipas holds! He's been quick to lean in on the serve quickly ever since Djokovic broke early in the set.

DJOKOVIC 5:2 TSITSIPAS

15-0 The best point of the day! An excellent rally and Djokovic moves to the net as he lobbed one through, Tsitsipas does not go for the tweener and moves ahead for the forehand but crashes it past the line. 30-30 Tsitsipas slowly crawling in on Djokovic's serve here. 40-30 Frustrating for Tsitsipas as he fends it once again. Scratchy from the 22-year-old.  ADVANTAGE STEFANOS! Sensational bit from Tsitsipas as he finds the winner with a superb backhand volley. DEUCE Fortress at the night is Djoko. Approaches the net as Tsitsipas goes for a powerful cross court forehand but Djokovic manages to shield a drop just in time! Djokovic holds!

DJOKOVIC 4:2 TSITSIPAS

0-30 Fantastic serve here from Tsitsipas. Strong on the first serve, stretching Djokovic to for it but he fails to get a good face of it.  15-40 Magnificent serve and volley from Tsitsipas here as he holds! Simple and effective game.

DJOKOVIC 4:1 TSITSIPAS

40-15 He's looking on top notch as usual on the serve. Tsitsipas will have a tough to going around Novak on serve. Novak Holds! Without breaking a sweat.

 

DJOKOVIC 3:1 TSITSIPAS

15-40 Good serving game from Tsitsipas here. He surely would want to close these serves quickly! Tsitsipas Holds!

DJOKOVIC 3:0 TSITSIPAS

A breezy game for Djokovic. He holds!

DJOKOVIC 2:0 TSITSIPAS

30-0 Horrendous shot from Tsitsipas as he blows it to the night sky. DJOKOVIC BREAKS! A cracking return across the court that silences Tsitsipas early on.

DJOKOVIC 1:0 TSITSIPAS

0-15 Explosive start from Tsitsipas! Forces the error off Novak's backhand that crashes the net. 0-30 Unlike the previous game, there is much more power on display as Tsitsipas gives Djokovic a thud early on.  BREAK POINT FOR TSITSIPAS  and soon enough Djokovic has warmed up to force the DEUCE. Precise serve from Djokovic to take the lead once again!  DEUCE Cracking return from Stefanos! Approaches the net does Djoko but is stunned by the Tsitsipas' stifling return. Djokovic Holds Classic return from the far end from Novak as he holds by saving four straight break points!

HERE WE GO FOLKS! Match underway! Djokovic serves.

The only man who stands a chance at breaking the indomitable streak of Nadal on clay, Novak Djokovic has entered the Philippe Chatrier stadium, followed by Stefanos Tsitsipas for an interesting clash.

MATCH PREVIEW

Novak Djokovic (Serbia x1) v Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece x5)

Head-to-head: Djokovic leads 3-2

Djokovic is chasing a second Roland Garros title and 18th Grand Slam to become the first man in half a century to win all four majors twice. It’s such a rare achievement that only Don Budge and Rod Laver have managed it in the history of the sport. The world No. 1 has four titles in 2020, carved out from 36 wins and just one loss – his now infamous default at the US Open. However, is the pressure beginning to tell? He dropped his first set of the tournament in his win over Pablo Carreno Busta in the quarterfinals and required treatment on his neck and shoulders.

“Stefanos is one of the best players in the world. He has an all-around game. He’s a big guy, big serve. He has weapons, obviously serve and forehand, his backhand. He produces a lot of spin. He comes into the net. He can play aggressively. He can defend well because he moves well,” said the 33-year-old who was champion in Paris in 2016.

Djokovic is bidding to make the final for the fifth time and a 27th at the Slams.

Tsitsipas, 22 and playing in his second semifinal at the majors having reached the last four at the 2019 Australian Open, has got stronger as the tournament has progressed.

After dropping the first two sets of his opener against Jaume Munar, he has swept the next 15.

Tsitsipas is bidding to become the youngest man to reach the Roland Garros final since 2008 when Nadal won the title and youngest to reach a Grand Slam championship match since the 2009 US Open, when Juan Martin del Potro triumphed, 10 days short of his 21st birthday.

The Greek has only met Djokovic once on clay, a straight sets loss in the 2019 Madrid final.

Paths to the semifinals (x denotes seeded player)

Djokovic

First round: bt Mikael Ymer (Sweden) 6-0, 6-2, 6-3

Second round: bt Ricardas Berankis (Lithuania) 6-1, 6-2, 6-2

Third round: bt Daniel Galan (Colombia) 6-0, 6-3, 6-2

Fourth round: bt Karen Khachanov (Russia x15) 6-4, 6-3, 6-3

Quarterfinals: bt Pablo Carreno Busta (Spain x17) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4

Tsitsipas

First round: bt Jaume Munar (Spain) 4-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4

Second round: bt Pablo Cuevas (Uruguay) 6-1, 6-4, 6-2

Third round: bt Aljaz Bedene (Slovenia) 6-1, 6-2, 3-1 – retired

Fourth round: bt Grigor Dimitrov (Bulgaria x18) 6-3, 7-6 (11/9), 6-2

Quarterfinals: bt Andrey Rublev (Russia x13) 7-5, 6-2, 6-3

An exciting second semifinal between Djokovic and Tsitsipas beckons. STAY TUNED!

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It was a fairly uneven contest in the end as Nadal hardly unscathed this time around against the 12-th ranked Schwartzman who seemed certainly bogged down by the big stage. The King of Clay registers his 99th win at Roland Garros and is one win away from a historical 100 at the Slam and a record-equalling 20th Grand Slam title. Who will be Nadal's opponent on his historical conquest? Novak Djokovic or the young Stefanos Tsitsipas? Stay tuned folks as the live updates from the second semifinal will be shortly coming your way!

 

NADAL bt SCHWARTZMAN: 6-3, 6-3, 7-6(0)

TIEBREAK | 0-1 Nadal rocks the backhand volley, takes the lead! 0-2 OH, no! What have you done Schwartzman. He could have placed the winner across but a rock-solid Nadal at the net has intimidated the man to force an error. 0-3 Nadal running away with this now!  0-4 Pressure getting to Schwartzman's nerves, dishes out the volley wide off court. Irreparable damage!  0-5 Flurry of errors and he is on the brim, Nadal cruising to an epoch-making final!  0-6 MATCH POINT FOR WORLD NO.2, RAFAEL NADAL! Pummeling Diego out of it now!  HE HAS DONE IT! RAFAEL NADAL ENTERS A 13TH GRAND SLAM FINAL! In a little over three hours, he has conquered the claycourt once again.

NADAL 6:6 SCHWARTZMAN

30-15 A smashing forehand winner for Diego, he vows to fight on. AMAZING! Schwartzman has forced the TIEBREAK in the third and it has been an impressive game for the Argentine.

NADAL 6:5 SCHWARTZMAN

30-15 My, my..he is forcing a change in fortunes or is he? Ominous signs for Nadal in the short span here.  40-15 another break point for Schwartzman! Nadal seems to be floundered here!  DEUCE A vigorous fist pump from Nadal as he gets his mojo back! ADVANTAGE NADAL momentary happiness for Schwartzman, quelled by Nadal within a minute. ADVANTAGE SCHWARTZMAN! Another long game swaying in on the balance. Big moment for Diego. DEUCE cheeky from Rafa, nonchalantly aces the drop at the net. NADAL HOLDS! A big one for Rafa, almost crashing Diego's hopes to the floor. Terrific comeback from the 12-time champion.

 

NADAL 5:5 SCHWARTZMAN

15-15 Nervy start to his server. He might quite be feeling the jitters!  15-30 Schwartzman fails to execute the drop once again. Nadal, two points away! 30-30 Cracking ace from Diego! 40-30 WOW! Nadal misses the forehand! Schwartzman lives on...SCHWARTZMAN HOLDS! Excellent game under pressure. He was on the edge and he has forced two errors to keep himself in the game!

Schwartzman serves to stay in the match ...... This could well be the end.

NADAL 5:4 SCHWARTZMAN

0-40 Nadal crushes Diego in this game as he holds serve comfortably.

NADAL 4:4 SCHWARTZMAN

15-15 Quality from Diego. Right on the edge of the line! If he had more of this right away throughout, the scoreline would have read different. Schwartzmans holds and how! He is right back in the third here and now will be relived to not let the 6-3, 6-3, repetition at the least!

NADAL 4:3 SCHWARTZMAN

15-30 It comes at the fag end from Diego, a near perfect volley.  30-30 and right behind, Nadal misses an easy volley!  40-30 Jarring error from Nadal here as he shrugs it wide to give his opponent a break point! DEUCE not the best of returns from Diego on the second serve, a massive miss this time! ADVANTAGE SCHWARTZMAN a few unforced errors copping Nadal's game off late. ADVANTAGE NADAL story of the match right here!  DEUCE frustrating little moments for Nadal. Agonising for his opponent. ADVANTAGE SCHWARTZMAN Nadal misses a sitter! He had Diego all squared up while approaching the net but misses the volley as it goes past the baseline. SCHWARTZMAN BREAKS! Fourth successive break for the Argentine! Well, well, well.... he manages to to stay on his toes as he crawls back a bit here!

NADAL 4:2 SCHWARTZMAN

0-30 Nadal has his reply firm out there now. Schwartzman shrugs and sighs as his game rapidly spirals down. NADAL BREAKS surely this must be curtains from here!

NADAL 3:2 SCHWARTZMAN

15-15 UNBELIEVABLE RAFA! Schwartzman has his hands on his head. Super human stuff from Rafa who kept the rally going and a tweener from Diego was not enough to keep the big man quiet.  ADVANTAGE SCHWARTZMAN! On the brink of a break here!  Game Schwartzman. He breaks and keeps the match narrowly alive with that! Just the second break forced out of six chances from him.

 

NADAL 3:1 SCHWARTZMAN

0-30 Trouble brewing for Diego! Nadal forcing the power on his shots and Schwartzman scuffs up on return. A certain disussion brews between Schwartzman and the chair umpire about the landing of the point. THREE BREAK POINTS FOR NADAL! And he cruises through does Nadal.

NADAL 2:1 SCHWARTZMAN

0-30 Terrific rally! Powerful shots from either side as Nadal seems to be pushed a bit. But he eventually earns the point as Diego is obsessed with hitting the net. Game Nadal! He is in full control here and will be a relieved man as he has not been stretched by his nemesis from Rome much this evening.

 

NADAL 1:1 SCHWARTZMAN

30-15 A rare sighting from Nadal as he offers a sliced forehand, however, falls out wide. Game Schwartzman! An ace down the line as he holds through!

NADAL 1:0 SCHWARTZMAN

SET 3 underway! 0-15 similar problems to start the third set for Schwartzman as the forehand errors keep flowing from his racquet.  Game Nadal. Schwartzman is mentally right not there. Nadal is not being pushed much by his opponent who is struggling to force the normal returns.

Ominous signs for Schwartzman as he will surely need a miraculous rejuvenation here. Unlikely but surely he will be with a glimmer of hope.

NADAL WINS SET 2: 6-3

15-15 Tough times ahead for Schwartzman.  30-30 Nadal not giving an inch away as Diego lunges on with hope.  Set Point for Nadal! AND HE TAKES IT! A poor lob that goes off from Diego!

Schwartzman serves to stay in the set ......

NADAL 5:3 SCHWARTZMAN

0-30 Breezing through the first serve Nadal hoping to close the set quickly. Game Nadal! Easy for Rafa as he seals it with an ace!

 

NADAL 4:3 SCHWARTZMAN

0-15 Diego seems to be seriously bogged down by the weight of the stage. A month back and now, a lot seems different. A Slam semis is cakewalk for Nadal. Schwartzman's mentality, quite not there yet. DEUCE Nadal hits the ball in displeasure after the point, Schwartzman has forced his way back to move to Advantage! Game, Schwartzman! Amazing comeback from the Argentine as he has barely managed to hold his serve.

NADAL 4:2 SCHWARTZMAN

30-0 OH WOW! How did he force that winner through? Nadal puts one wide to the far right but Diego forces a crisp winner to stun Nadal who approached the net without much gain! 30-30 Strong reply from Rafa! A juicy lob from Diego has Nadal pounce on the smash in a jiffy! Game Nadal! The sheer brilliance of the man as he cuts a brilliant drop from nowhere, Schwartzman had no clue. Terrific return from the Spaniard to hold serve.

 

NADAL 3:2 SCHWARTZMAN

40-15 This one's quick from Diego! Game Schwartzman. He holds this time without much ado. Forcing powerful shots down the line that caught Nadal off-guard.

NADAL 3:1 SCHWARTZMAN

15-0 Excellent return from Diego. Forces Nadal to hit from the far right and he completed an easy return to the other end. More of this and Nadal can be tamed this evening.  15-30 Lucky there Nadal he approached the net without much clarity but Schwartzman's wry patch with the errors continue as forces out yet another shot off the baseline. Costly miss this one. 30-40 A close call there on the line. The chair umpire is out there too on the court to have a look at the landing. Game, Nadal holds! He is slowly running away with this.

NADAL 2:1 SCHWARTZMAN

0-30 Diego feels the pressure. He growls in despair. Repetitive errors on the forehand and Nadal will hope for this to continue any day. 30-30 Schwartzman slowly but desperately trying to stay in the hunt. 30-40 Break point for Nadal. GAME NADAL! He breaks early on. A tired game from Diego as he puts an easy forehand past the baseline.

NADAL 1:1 SCHWARTZMAN

0-30 Nadal approaches the net and swats away a poor offering from Schwartzman.  0-40 Nadal repeats the same! Too short and weak from Schwartzman and Nadal crushes the volley down the other end. Game Nadal.

NADAL 0:1 SCHWARTZMAN

30-0 Nadal misses the shot oddly and looks down in despair. His hand came off the handle. Game Schwartzman he breezes through this one. Positive start from the Argentine.

 

NADAL WINS SET 1: 6-3

30-30 Not an easy task for Rafa here! Schwartzman holds on but barely. SET POINT FOR RAFA! An excellent couple of serves here from the champ. DEUCE Schwartzman has interestingly had the better of the long rallies as he forces the deuce here. What a shot! Nadal takes the advantage here as forces the forehand winner from a difficult angle. Schwartzman stood no chance. DEUCE! Excellent from Schwartzman! He keeps his composure in a tense, long rally and Nadal hits the net!  Advantage Nadal third set point for Rafa. Nadal takes the set! Familiar problems haunting Schwartzman here. Another error as he hits the net. Very odd in comparison to majority of the way he has played this set. The brilliance is not sustained and so we have the King of Clay grab the set.

Rafa serving for the first set!  15-0 A cracking forehand from Schwartzman creeping down the line as Nadal stood no chance.

NADAL 5:3 SCHWARTZMAN

30-0 Nadal misses the volley! Schwartzman has started well here in this crucial game. 40-15 Double fault from Schwartzman he has not been able to feed the power on his serve. Game Schwartzman! He holds.

NADAL 5:2 SCHWARTZMAN

15-30 Lowly returns from Schwartzman as he feeds a poor shot for Nadal who breezes through the volley. 15-40 Stifling serve from Nadal, has Schwartzman wound up as he approaches the net to deftly push it away. Game Nadal! Easy for Rafa. A game away from taking the first set here.

NADAL 4:2 SCHWARTZMAN

15-15 Aaaah! Diego sighs as he keeps finding the net when one just hopes to see him get on with the forehand! 30-30 He misses again. It looks a tad sheepish when you are competing with the 12-time champion. Diego will see this game slipping away quickly if this persists.  40-30 chance for Schwartzman to hold. Game Schwartzman!  Finally a point off the second serve.

NADAL 4:1 SCHWARTZMAN

Advantage Schwartzman! But an ace from Nadal has it right back at Deuce. Advantage Nadal! And he roooars! Schwartzman tries the drop, but a searing Rafa sweeps in and smashes a cracking winner.  Game! Nadal he holds back the serve in true Rafa style!

NADAL 3:1 SCHWARTZMAN

15-15 Not a bad second serve from Schwartzman, but Nadal's backhand return streaks past Schwartzman's backhand. 15-30 Nadal taking charge. 15-40. Schwartzman goes to Nadal's backhand, and the 12-time champion brings up two break points with a forehand down the line. GAME! Nadal breaks again.

NADAL 2:1 SCHWARTZMAN

15- 30 Schwartzman misses the slice. Tries the cheeky stuff but hits the net. He is not able to penetrate into Nadal's court early on here. 30-30 Brilliant from Diego! More control as he creates the angle on the left of Nadal who blows it wide out of the baseline. 40-30 | Crisp from Schwartzman! Perfectly diagonal rallies and Schwartzman forces the error of Nadal's forehand with precision. GAME! Schwartzman breaks!

 

NADAL 2:0 SCHWARTZMAN

15-0 Schwartzman forces his power down the line..too much for Nadal's extended forehand. 30-15 Another wry error from Schwartman as he draws it wide. 30-30 Schwartzman's got to have his control on these returns early on. Nadal is waiting to pounce to chance a few errors of his opponent. Game! Nadal Breaks! Schwartzman's tried the fast game here but the errors kept creeping in and so we have Nadal in the lead!

NADAL 1:0 SCHWARTZMAN

15-0 Nadal fends it off wide of the line. 15-15 A good rally to get the game going. Schwartzman smashes the net. 15-30 Oh dear! Schwartzman misses out on a fine chance to get the lead. He nearly had Nadal on the backfoot there. A little short on power. 30 - 40 An unusually slow start from Nadal as puts it far ahead of the baseline this time. DEUCE | Things are not going to be easy for Nadal with the Argentine. The first game is clearly enough to prove the same! Advantage Schwartzman! He climbs on Nadal early-on! Schwartzman on break point! DEUCE Nadal feels the heat but this is where Schwartzman could miss out as he pushes the ball wide off court to put the scores level once again. Advantage Nadal! Schwartzman surprises Nadal with a deft drop shot off the rally but Nadal jumps up on it and smashes it through! DEUCE This is a suprisingly slow start from either men but when two quality players engage at the semifinals, this is what you want! Advantage Nadal This isn't a usual Nadal serving game, feel he is just warming up as he plays with lesser power on his shots. Schwartzman's occasional errors have kept him alive. GAME! 14 minutes to finish the first game in the men's semfinals! Nadal is lucky to be having the lead here.

So here we are folks, Nadal opts to serve first in a bid to that record-breaking final. High-octane action coming up our way!

It's time for Rafael Nadal vs Diego Schwartzman.

When you talk of Grand Slam semifinals, you expect to see familiar names. The names of previous champions, top-ranked players and veterans. And the men's draw at the 2020 French Open has delivered that.

READ | Iga Swiatek's run to French Open final not by chance, says coach

Nadal, the 12-time champion, arrived in Paris writing off his chaces of equalling Roger Federer's all-time record of 20 Grand Slam titles. However, the 34-year-old stands on the brink of a 13th Roland Garros final without dropping a set and having spent three-and-a-half hours fewer than Schwartzman on court.

He remains cautious over his chances at a tournament being played in the cold and chill of autumn rather than its traditional May-June slot and after finishing his quarterfinal against Jannik Sinner at 01:30 on Wednesday morning in Paris, he said it was “dangerous for the body with these very heavy conditions.”

Nadal's late night was mostly caused by Schwartzman needing more than five hours to defeat US Open champion and third seed Dominic Thiem in five sets to reach his maiden semifinal at the majors. By contrast, Nadal is in his 34th.

However, Schwartzman will be buoyed by defeating Nadal for the first time in 10 attempts on clay in Rome on the eve of Roland Garros.

READ | Nadal learned from loss to Schwartzman at Rome, says Moya

Affectionately known as “El Peque” ("shorty"), 28-year-old Schwartzman is a mere 5ft 6in (1.68m) and the smallest player in the world's top 50.

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HEAD-TO-HEAD: Nadal 9 : 1 Schwartzman

 

NADAL VS SCHWARTZMAN PREVIEW IN NUMBERS:

A look at the key facts and records of Spain's Rafael Nadal and Argentina's Diego Schwartzman before their French Open semifinal on Friday (prefix number denotes seeding):

RAFAEL NADAL

Age: 34

ATP ranking: 2 (Highest ranking: 1)

Grand Slam titles: 19

Career ATP titles: 85

2019 French Open performance: Champion

Best French Open performance: Champion (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019)

ROAD TO FINAL

First round: bt Egor Gerasimov (Belarus) 6-4, 6-4, 6-2

Second round: bt Mackenzie McDonald (USA) 6-1, 6-0, 6-3

Third round: bt Stefano Travaglia (Italy) 6-1, 6-4, 6-0

Fourth round: bt Sebastian Korda (USA) 6-1, 6-1, 6-2

Quarterfinals: bt Jannik Sinner (ITA) 7-6 (7/4), 6-4, 6-1

DIEGO SCHWARTZMAN

Age: 28

ATP ranking: 14 (Highest ranking: 11)

Grand Slam titles: 0

Career WTA titles: 3

2019 French Open performance: Second round

Best French Open performance: Quarterfinals (2018)

ROAD TO FINAL

First round: bt Miomir Kecmanovic (Serbia) 6-0, 6-1, 6-3

Second round: bt Lorenzo Giustino (Italy) 6-1, 7-5, 6-0

Third round: bt Norbert Gombos (Slovakia) 7-6 (7/3), 6-3, 6-3

Fourth round: bt Lorenzo Sonego (Italy) 6-1, 6-3, 6-4

Quarterfinals: bt Dominic Thiem (Austriax3) 7-6 (7/1), 5-7, 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (7/5), 6-2