The Serb, who was aiming for his 19th Grand Slam title, was forced to dig deep to fend off the reborn Berrettini, ultimately winning 6-3 6-2 6-7 (5) 7-5.
The match had looked like a formality for Djokovic who went through the first two sets, but Berrettini rallied in the third to produce an exciting conclusion for the quarter-final, which even saw the world No.1 suffer cuts to his hands after. a dramatic fall.
Both players also faced a break in play midway through the fourth set with supporters forced to leave under the Covid-19 11pm curfew in Paris.
A group of supporters remained seated and booed instructions, forcing both players off the pitch until the stadium was emptied.
Despite the distractions, the spirited Djokovic enjoyed a third match point in the fourth set, sparking some crazy celebrations directed at his box.
“This match had it all: crashes, crowd, break,” Djokovic told reporters after the match. “It was a lot of intensity. I just felt energized the whole time and missed a few chances to finish in three.
“It was just great, super stressful to be under pressure all the time […] the reaction at the end was just me releasing that tension that was building up throughout the game. “
Djokovic will now face Rafael Nadal on Friday for a place in the final at Roland Garros. The pair have enjoyed an intense rivalry throughout their careers with Djokovic leading the one-on-one 29-28.
However, Nadal dominates on clay and won his 13th title at Roland Garros last October, beating Djokovic in the final.
“It’s not a game like any other. Let’s face it, it’s the biggest challenge you can have playing on clay against Nadal on this pitch. It doesn’t get bigger than that,” said Djokovic after winning his quarterfinal.
“There’s that extra tension and expectations. The vibes are different walking the pitch with him. But that’s why our rivalry has been historic, I think for the sport.
“I’m confident. I believe I can win, otherwise I won’t be here. Let’s have a good fight.”
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