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Rediff.com  » Sports » Nadal to face Federer in French Open final

Nadal to face Federer in French Open final

Last updated on: June 04, 2011 01:26 IST

Roger Federer ended Novak Djokovic's 41-match winning streak with a 7-6, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 victory on Friday to set up a French Open final meeting with old rival Rafa Nadal.

Serbian second seed Djokovic went off the rails as the third-seeded Federer raised his game to new heights to reach his fifth final at Roland Garros, and his first Grand Slam final since last year's Australian Open.

The 16-times Grand Slam champion, who will meet world number one Nadal on Sunday, recovered from a break down in the opening set, which he bagged by winning the tiebreak 7-5.

Roger Federer returnsFederer, the 2009 champion, rode the momentum to break for 3-1 in the second set, which he won after saving a break point in the ninth game with an ace.

With his back to the wall, Djokovic, who would have equalled John McEnroe's 1984 record of 42 wins since the start of a season and become world number one had he reached the final, pulled a set back after snatching Federer's serve in the second game.

Federer, however, left the crowd in awe with a superb passing backhand down the line, and stunned his opponent with a second-serve ace as the fourth set was thrown into a twilight shootout which the Swiss won 7-5 with an ace.

Federer has never beaten Nadal in three previous French Open final encounters.

Earlier, five-times champion Nadal sparked off his 25th birthday celebrations by blowing Murray off court with a 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 win to reach the final.

The Spaniard, bidding to equal Bjorn Borg's record of six titles at Roland Garros, outplayed the British fourth seed in a three-hour-17-minute display of power and stamina.

Nadal was at his brilliant best at times on court Philippe Chatrier.

His amazing court coverage, vicious forehands and crosscourt backhands were too much to handle for Murray, who was bidding to become the first British man to reach the final at Roland Garros since Bunny Austin in 1937.

Nadal, who now has a 44-1 record at the French Open, teased Murray by handing him a few openings. But that was as good as it got as the fourth seed because every time he earned a break point, Nadal slammed the door shut with yet another fizzing winner.

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