"He is playing well and has dropped just the one set in the tournament so I will have to be at my very best to be able to beat Roger. I will do all I can to achieve that."

 

Nadal carried an unbeaten streak of 19 matches into his semi-final with Djokovic, who at 20, a year younger than the Spaniard, was playing in his first Grand Slam semi-final.

 

The Serb struggled to return the Spaniard's heavy top spin, but a huge forehand down the line from the champion clinched the first break of serve in the fifth game.

 

On the back of that, Nadal moved 5-2 ahead and served for the set, but Djokovic produced a magnificent effort to break the Spaniard's serve twice in a row.

 

The game moved to 5-5, with Djokovic failing to hold his own serve, and Nadal's trademark forehand down the line helped him to win the set in 66 minutes.

 

Djokovic failed to convert three break points for a 2-0 lead in the second set and thereafter Nadal's imposing forehand dominated the exchanges.

 

Federer: Third player in history
to win four Grand Slams in a row? 
"He deserved to win - physically he is the strongest and fittest in the world," Djokovic said.

 

"The first two sets I was hanging in there but in the third I just dropped."

 

"I showed to myself and to everybody else that I have enough quality to be in the top three and four of the world," he said.

 

Tough final

 

Federer, who lost in four sets to the Spaniard at Roland Garros last year, admitted he would have preferred Djokovic as an opponent.

 

"Never lost against the guy and he has never played a Grand Slam final. So it would be stupid to say the other guy.

 

"But I know I'm in great shape, got a day off tomorrow so I can prepare perfectly for the upcoming match. I've got a game plan ready."

 

Davydenko, playing in his second Roland Garros semi-final, was left to regret a catalogue of missed opportunities against Federer including wasting three set points in the third set.

 

He had an astonishing 11 break points in the first set, but was able to convert just one. Federer had two and profited from both.

 

A win for Federer in Sunday's final would make him the sixth man in history to have won all four Grand Slam titles and the first since Andre Agassi in France in 1999.

 

He would also be the third player to win four Grand Slams in a row after Don Budge and Rod Laver.

 

A win for Nadal would give him a hat-trick of French Open titles at the age of just 21, the first player to do so since Bjorn Borg in 1980 and the second ever to do so in 93 years.