Paris: While Rafael Nadal had a smooth passage to the French Open men's singles final here Sunday, World No.1 Novak Djokovic had to dig deep to make it to the title clash.
Djokovic, aiming to become the first male player in 43 years to win four Grand Slam titles in a row, comes to the final after scraping through two five-set matches. The Serb defeated Italian Andreas Seppi in the fourth round after losing the first two sets and saved four-match points in the quarter-final before edging out local hope Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
On the contrary, Nadal has eased to the final losing just 35 games and is yet to lose a set. His Spanish compatriot Nicolas Almagro stretched him the most by forcing him to the first-set tie-break in the quarterfinal. Nadal hammered another countryman David Ferrer in the last four to stake his claim for a record seventh title at Roland Garros.
Road to final:
First round: bt Potito Starace, Italy, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, 6-1
Second round: bt Blaz Kavcic, Slovenia, 6-0, 6-4, 6-4
Third round: bt Nicolas Devilder, France, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2
Fourth round: bt 22-Andreas Seppi, Italy, 4-6, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 7-5, 6-3
Quarter-final: bt 5-Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France, 6-1, 5-7, 5-7, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1
Semi-final: bt 3-Roger Federer, Switzerland, 6-4, 7-5, 6-3
First round: bt Simone Bolelli, Italy, 6-2, 6-2, 6-1
Second round: bt Denis Istomin, Uzbekistan, 6-2, 6-2, 6-0
Third round: bt Eduaroundo Schwank, Argentina, 6-1, 6-3, 6-4
Fourth round: bt 13-Juan Monaco, Argentina, 6-2, 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: bt 12-Nicolas Almagro, Spain, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, 6-3
Semi-final: bt 6-David Ferrer, Spain, 6-2, 6-2, 6-1