NOVAK Djokovic set up a 58th meeting with Rafael Nadal on Wednesday when he reached his 40th Grand Slam semifinal at Roland Garros despite being held up by 5, 000 fans needing to be evacuated to conform with a Covid-19 curfew.
World number one Djokovic defeated Italy’s Matteo Berrettini 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5 to book his place in the last four in Paris for the 11th time.
Earlier, Nadal, the 13-time champion, beat Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 to make the semifinals for the 14th time.
With Djokovic’s match extending beyond the national 22 hours curfew, play was halted for around 20 minutes at 3-2 in the fourth set so that 5, 000 fans could be funnelled out of Court Philippe Chatrier.
Djokovic eventually claimed the match on a third match point in the 12th game of the fourth set but only after the Serb had kicked out at an advertising board in frustration at missing the first two.
Today’s semifinal will be the eighth between Djokovic and Nadal at Roland Garros where the Spaniard has a commanding 7-1 advantage.