French Open: Nadal Defeats Djokovic in Roland Garros Quarter Final

French Open: Rafael Nadal beats Novak Djokovic in late-night thriller

Rafael Nadal proved yet again why he is the best player in the history of the French Open by defeating his long-time rival Novak Djokovic in a late-night encounter in Paris on Tuesday to advance to the men’s singles semi-finals.

Spaniard Nadal, 35, seeking his 14th championship, got off to a flying start and held off reigning champion Djokovic to win 6-2 4-6 6-2 7-6 (7-4) at Roland Garros.

After more than four hours on the court, Nadal won at 1:16 a.m. local time.

On Friday, the 21-time Grand Slam winner will take on third seed, the German Alexander Zverev.

After surviving a comeback by teenage phenom Carlos Alcaraz earlier on Tuesday, Zverev, 25, currently ranked at No. 3 in the world rankings, has advanced to the semi-finals for the second year in a row.

“There is only one way to beat Novak: play your best from the first point to the last,” Nadal remarked, thanking the Chatrier audience for their “love.”

“For me, this is one of those magical nights.”

Nadal’s victory at Roland Garros avenged his semi-final loss to Djokovic last year, and he now has 110 wins in 113 matches on the clay.

The other quarter-finals to be played, Casper Ruud vs Holger Rune and Marin Cilic vs Andrey Rublev, will determine the two players that will contest the other semi-final.

They will go on to face the winner of Nadal vs Zverev in the final on Sunday.