It is tennis’s best fashionable rivalry between two males who’ve harvested 38 Grand Slam titles between them and 72 Masters.
Djokovic has spent extra weeks at world primary than another participant whereas 13-time French Open winner Nadal has not been out of the highest 10 in 16 years.
Nadal will begin Friday’s semi-ultimate as favorite, buoyed by his report of 105 wins and simply two losses in his Roland Garros profession.
The 35-yr-previous additionally has the sting over Djokovic on clay with a 19-7 profession lead and seven-1 in Paris.
Djokovic hasn’t overwhelmed Nadal on the floor since Rome in 2016.
He can, nevertheless, boast being one of solely two males to have defeated Nadal in Paris, within the quarter-finals in 2015.
“It’s a well-anticipated semi-final and here we are,” mentioned Djokovic of a rivalry which began on Court Philippe Chatrier in 2006.
“We had some battles over the years on this court.”
Nadal defeated 2016 champion Djokovic in straight units in final yr’s ultimate, the Serb’s third loss within the championship match in Paris to the Spaniard.
There is a lot at stake on Friday as the 2 rivals shut in on Sunday’s ultimate.
Djokovic can win a nineteenth Slam and turn into the primary man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win all 4 Slams twice.
Victory for Nadal would give him a report-setting twenty first main, breaking the tie with Roger Federer.
“The vibes are different walking on the court with him,” added Djokovic. “But that’s why our rivalry has been historic.”
It’s been a topsy-turvy event for Djokovic.
After racing by way of the primary three rounds, he needed to come again from two units right down to defeat (*58*) 19-yr-previous Lorenzo Musetti.
In the quarter-finals, he dropped the third set in opposition to Matteo Berrettini.
With the exception of a second-set blip within the quarter-finals in opposition to Diego Schwartzman, Nadal has reached his 14th semi-ultimate comparatively unscathed.
Despite his clay court docket stranglehold on Djokovic, Nadal is not getting too far forward of himself.
“It is a semi-final, not a final. That’s a big difference,” he mentioned.
The newest chapter of Djokovic v Nadal has overshadowed Friday’s different semi-ultimate between Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and sixth-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany.
They have met seven occasions however simply as soon as on clay in Madrid in 2019 when Tsitsipas triumphed.
The 22-yr-previous Tsitsipas is in his third successive semi-ultimate at the Slams and took Djokovic to 5 units within the final 4 at Roland Garros in 2020.
He arrived in Paris with clay court docket titles this yr in Monte Carlo and Lyon and had a match level to beat Nadal within the Barcelona ultimate.
Zverev is in his first semi-ultimate at Roland Garros having nearly fallen at the primary hurdle in opposition to 152nd-ranked compatriot Oscar Otte.
Whoever makes it to Sunday’s ultimate may have their work minimize out.
Tsitsipas is 2-7 in opposition to Nadal and a pair of-5 taking part in Djokovic.
Zverev is 3-6 when taking up Nadal and a pair of-6 dealing with Djokovic.
Head-to-head: Djokovic leads 29-28