Rafael Nadal reached his fourth straight French Open final as he swept aside Novak Djokovic 6-4 6-2 7-6 (7-3).
The three-times defending champion saved a set point in the third set to win in two hours 49 minutes and advance to a final.
“It was a very high quality match,” said Nadal, who is still unbeaten at Roland Garros. “I am just very happy to be in the final again.”
Having pushed the Spaniard hard on their last meeting in the semi-finals of Hamburg, Djokovic was expected to provide Nadal with by far his toughest test yet.
Nadal, however, meant business from the word go and, with Bjorn Borg -- the only man to win the title four times in a row -- watching in the stands, broke to lead 2-1.
Djokovic looked bemused for much of the match. Several times the Serbian thought he had done enough to win a point and Nadal came up with something spectacular to deny him.
However, the Australian Open champion rallied admirably in the third, breaking Nadal in the fourth game to pull the scores back to 3-2, much to the delight of the partisan French crowd.
Djokovic even had the temerity to take the Spaniard to a tie-break as he battled gamely against a clearly shaken Nadal.
The Spaniard played a brilliant tiebreak, winning it 7-3 to clinch a victory that ensures he will stay ahead of Djokovic as the world number two.
Nadal is only the third man in the Open Era, after Borg and Ivan Lendl to reach the final in four successive years.
(source Reuters, photo/AP Photo/Michel Spingler via Yahoo Sports)