PARIS (Reuters) - Roger Federer ended Novak Djokovic’s 41-match winning streak with a 7-6 6-3 3-6 7-6 victory on Friday to set up a French Open final meeting with old rival Rafa Nadal. Serbian second seed Djokovic went off the rails as the third-seeded Federer raised his game to new heights to reach his fifth final at Roland Garros, and his first grand-slam final since last year’s Australian Open.
The 16-times grand slam champion, who will meet world number one Nadal on Sunday, recovered from a break down in the opening set, which he bagged by winning the tiebreak 7-5.
Federer, the 2009 champion, rode the momentum to break for 3-1 in the second set, which he won after saving a break point in the ninth game with an ace.
With his back to the wall, Djokovic, who would have equaled John McEnroe’s 1984 record of 42 wins since the start of a season and become world number one had he reached the final, pulled a set back after snatching Federer’s serve in the second game.
Federer, however, left the crowd in awe with a superb passing backhand down the line, and stunned his opponent with a second-serve ace as the fourth set was thrown into a twilight shootout which the Swiss won 7-5 with an ace.
Federer has never beaten Nadal in three previous French Open final encounters.
Editing by Clare Fallon