Djokovic Holds Off Federer to Clinch Spot in French Open Final

He'll face Rafael Nadal in the final

Friday, Jun 8, 2012  |  Updated 10:56 AM PDT
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Novak Djokovic of Serbia is heading to his first French Open final after beating Roger Federer on Friday.

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Novak Djokovic beat a mistake-prone Roger Federer to reach his first French Open final, where he'll face Rafael Nadal on Sunday.

Djokovic beat Federer 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 — closing in on becoming the first man in 43 years with four consecutive Grand Slam titles. Earlier, Nadal defeated David Ferrer 6-2, 6-2, 6-1.

The No. 1-ranked Djokovic lost three previous semifinals at Roland Garros, including last year, when Federer stopped the Serb's 43-match winning streak.

On Friday, 16-time major champion Federer didn't play his best, ending up with 46 unforced errors to Djokovic's 17.

Djokovic won Wimbledon and the U.S. Open last year, then the Australian Open in January. If he beats six-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal in Sunday's final, Djokovic will be only the third man in tennis history with four major titles in a row — and first since Rod Laver in 1969.

Nadal pulled made it to the final with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 blowout over his sixth-seeded opponent.

Nadal called Friday's his best showing at the French Open so far this year — definitely saying something given he hasn't dropped a set and has lost a total of only 35 games over six matches.

Only Bjorn Borg, who currently shares the record of six French Open titles with Nadal, lost fewer games through the semifinals. He dropped 27 in 1978 and 31 in 1980.

As well as he's playing, second-seeded Nadal said he made a minor adjustment to his game plan heading into the match against Ferrer, trying to move closer to the baseline, take the ball earlier. Among the stellar stats that came out of this tweak: Nadal went 13 for 13 on points at the net. Afterward, he was fielding questions about whether he played the perfect match.

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