Rafael Nadal's 13 French Open titles are by far the most for a men's player in the Open era, and he got a step closer to No. 14 with a huge win on Tuesday. The world No. 5 beat top-ranked Novak Djokovic 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) in the quarterfinals at Roland Garros.
It was an unrelenting battle between the superstars, as the match took over four hours and ended past 1 a.m. in Paris. Nadal outlasted Djokovic despite.
It's far from the first time Nadal and Djokovic have clashed. They've met 59 times over their careers with Nadal leading the series 30-29. Tuesday's match, though, was incredibly significant for both. Nadal ensured Djokovic would not tie his record of 21 Grand Slam titles, while Djokovic has officially failed his French Open title defense.
With the win, Nadal will advance to a semifinal matchup with world No. 3 Alexander Zverev on Friday. Nadal will celebrate his 36th birthday the day of the match. Zverev is coming off an impressive quarterfinal win over 19-year-old sensation Carlos Alcaraz, who topped Nadal and Djokovic in the Madrid Open.
Nadal is 110-3 all-time at Roland Garros, and his 13 French Open titles are more than double the six of Bjorn Borg, who has the second most among men's players in the Open era. On Friday, Nadal will hope history repeats itself and sends him to the tournament final.