PARIS (Sporting Alert) — World No. 1 and top overall seed Novak Djokovic will finally match skills with Rafael Nadal in what is all setup to be a very interested semifinal match up on Friday at the French Open.
Djokovic v Nadal French Open Semis – Live on ESPN3.com
Seven-time champion and the third-seeded Nadal defeated No.9 seed Stanislas Wawrinka, 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 in his quarterfinals and he was happy with the way he played.
“I’m really happy with the way I played,” Nadal said after his last match. “It was my best match of the year.
“Stan was probably tired after his match against Richard (Gasquet in the fourth round) and I feel sorry for him but I played at a very, very good level.”
Nadal and Djokovic had an interesting battle at the 2012 Australian Open final before the Serbian went on to take the victory and he said he’s ready for another long and challenging matchup with the Spaniard.
“I’m ready for five sets,” he said. “That doesn’t mean there is going to be five sets. We’ll see what’s gonna be.
“Nobody can predict what’s going to happen, especially in our matches.”
Djokovic knows Friday’s game will not be a cake walk either.
“I have a big fight in front of me and I’m ready for it,” he revealed. “I know this is the biggest challenge for me at Roland Garros, no question about it.
“So of course I was satisfied today to win in three sets and not stay on the court too long. Regardless if I play Rafa or somebody else, it’s the same mindset. But I need that intensity from the start.”
In the other semi-finals fourth-seeded David Ferrer take on sixth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who upset the second seed Roger Federer in his quarterfinals.
“Once you back down in a rally, he never lets you free,” Tsonga said of his match with Ferrer.
“He fights. He never gives up. He runs a lot. He’s extremely fast. He has a lot of endurance.
“But I feel I’m able to beat him because I believe I have the weapons for that. I hit harder than he does.”
FRIDAY’S FRENCH OPEN MEN’S SEMIFINAL
Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Rafael Nadal (3)
David Ferrer (4) vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (6)