Rafael Nadal must beat Ferrer for historic win

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RAFAEL Nadal won an epic semi-final against Novak Djokovic at the French Open to remain the King of Clay – for another couple of days, at least.

The seven-time champion twice let a lead slip away in the fourth set yesterday, then came from behind in the fifth to beat the No.1-ranked Djokovic 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7 (3), 9-7.

Djokovic blew an easy overhead on the opening point on the final game and went on to lose serve at love, sending his final forehand long.

“I was ready for the fight,” Nadal said. “I really fought a lot.” Nadal needs one more win to become the first man to win eight titles at the same Grand Slam event. Tomorrow, he’ll play fellow Spaniard David Ferrer, who advanced to his first Grand Slam final by beating Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-1, 7-6 (3), 6-2.

The No.4-seeded Ferrer had lost all five of his previous major semi-finals. He has played in more major tournaments, 42, to reach his first final than any other man in the Open era.

This time, Ferrer has Wwon all 18 of his sets in the tournament. “I am not tired,” he said. “This is very important playing against Rafa, because I need to be 100 percent to do well against him.”