PARIS — Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic will go head-to-head for the 26th time in the French Open tennis semi-finals tomorrow and both agreed the outcome lay in the lap of the gods.
At one stage in Tuesday’s quarter-finals at Roland Garros it looked like both were on their way out.
Federer was two sets to love down against Juan Martin del Potro and at the same time, Djokovic was being run ragged by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
But, in keeping with their superstar status, both men found a way back, winning in five sets in each case.
Federer leads their head-to-heads 14-11, but the recent outcomes between the two favours the Serb, the top seed here who is bidding to become only the third man to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time, 43 years after Rod Laver achieved the fabulous feat for the second time.
Djokovic lost in four sets to Federer in last year’s French Open semi-finals, but that was his only defeat in their last six encounters, which notably included an epic five sets win in the semi-finals of the US Open in New York last September.
Djokovic, after saving four match points against Tsonga in a quarter-final thriller, said he knew what to expect.
“I don’t want to talk too much about Roger. We all know his quality and can always expect him to perform his best at this stage of the tournament,” he said.
“He came back from two sets down today. We both played tough matches in the last two rounds. Now we’re going to have two days off and expect an exciting semi-final.”