Djokovic, Nadal looking to become record collectors
By Pritha Sarkar
PARIS (Reuters) - No man has won seven French Open titles and no man in 43 years has won four grand slams in a row - and only one of these dreams will be realized at the French Open after Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic on Friday set up a lip-smacking final showdown.
Djokovic claimed he was "not good with numbers", but even he knew how high the stakes were as he turned what should have been a tug-of-war semi-final against Roger Federer into a one-way 6-4 7-5 6-3 romp.
The top seed's reward for reaching his first French Open showpiece was a Sunday date with Nadal - a man Martina Navratilova calls an "amazing" claycourt "anomaly" - after the Spaniard pulverized his "good mate" David Ferrer 6-2 6-2 6-1.
In his first grand slam semi-final, Ferrer must have felt like an imposter among the three kings of the sport - who between them have won 27 of the last 28 majors. Unfortunately for Ferrer, Nadal did not come bearing any gifts for his friend.
In fact being Nadal's friend is turning out to be a dangerous business at Roland Garros this year.
He allowed his "good friend" and "one of the best players in the world" Juan Monaco a measly two games in the last 16, he stifled his "buen amigo" and "one of the best players in the world" Nicolas Almagro in straight sets in the quarter-finals and there was a feeling of deja vu for Ferrer on Friday.
Ferrer entered the arena with a 1-12 claycourt win-loss record against Nadal. His hazy memory of that solitary victory was of little help on Friday as it was eight years ago when Nadal was still an 18-year-old tyro who had not yet been let loose on the red clay at Roland Garros.
If there was any doubt how much Nadal hungers for that seventh title, one incredible 34-shot rally on Friday summed it up. Continued...