French Open day 13: Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic set up final clash

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic set up a 56th meeting in the French Open final with contrasting victories at Roland Garros.

Nadal overcame a slight third-set wobble to beat Diego Schwartzman 6-3 6-3 7-6 (0), while Djokovic was taken the distance by Stefanos Tsitsipas in a 6-3 6-2 5-7 4-6 6-1 victory.

Iga Swiatek was unable to make a second final, losing with Nicole Melichar in the last four of the women’s doubles, while Britain’s Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid completed a sweep of the wheelchair men’s doubles titles in 2020.

Picture of the day

Novak Djokovic roars at the sky during his dramatic semi-final
Novak Djokovic roars at the sky during his dramatic semi-final

Stat of the day

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Brighter times for Kiki

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Kristina Mladenovic wished 2020 was over after a missed double bounce contributed to her first-round loss against Laura Siegemund from 5-1 up in the opening set.

That came on the back of her enforced quarantine in New York but things are finally looking up after the Frenchwoman and partner Timea Babos moved to within one victory of successfully defending their doubles title.

Djokovic closing in

2️⃣8️⃣9️⃣ weeks at No. 1 (and counting)!@fedex@djokernole

— ATP Tour (@atptour) October 9, 2020

Djokovic has made no secret of the importance of records during the final years of his career, and one of the big ones is now firmly within his grasp. The Serbian is spending his 289th week at world number one – 21 short of Roger Federer’s record.

He is guaranteed to hold onto the position whatever happens on Sunday and, with the ATP deciding that coronavirus measures meaning players will not lose ranking points will continue until March, the chances of anyone passing him before he overtakes Federer significantly receded.

Who’s up next?

Iga Swiatek has been imperious in Paris so far
Iga Swiatek has been imperious in Paris so far

Swiatek and Sofia Kenin take centre stage on Saturday for a youthful women’s singles final.

Swiatek, 19, has swept all before her on her way to a maiden slam final, while Australian Open champion Kenin, 21, is bidding to become the first player since Angelique Kerber in 2016 to win two titles in a season.

Hewett bids for his second French Open singles title against Joachim Gerard, while Britain’s Andy Lapthorne takes on Dylan Alcott in the quad wheelchair final.