Kuerten says Nadal could win 15 titles in Paris

"It's a joke how tough it is to win a slam, because obviously now I beat Novak".

The world number two was uncharacteristically flat - particularly during a third-set bagel - as he was humbled in two hours and 17 minutes.

Djokovic, bidding for a seventh consecutive semi-final spot at Roland Garros, squandered two set points in the opener before losing the tiebreak and his game then fell apart.

Former player Imaz, described as a "spiritual guru" was the squad's only survivor to welcome the arrival of Andre Agassi, who teamed up with Djokovic shortly before the French Open.

'I don't recall seeing a time in the last six to eight years where Novak mailed it in - he basically gave up.

Yet to drop a set this year, Nadal will next face either Djokovic or Dominic Thiem in what is touted as the "real final", even though Stan Wawrinka, Andy Murray, Marin Cilic and Kei Nishikori remain in the top half of the draw. That's all. I am in semi-finals and with very positive feelings.

It is Bopanna's second career appearance in the summit clash of a Grand Slam.

Fifth seed Svitolina twice served for the match at 5-2 and 5-4 in the second set and then had match point at 6/5 in the tie-break.

Murray, who was runner-up to Djokovic at Roland Garros previous year, will meet 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka for a spot in Sunday's final.

Djokovic enlisted Andre Agassi for coaching help during Week 1 of the French Open, but Agassi had some prior commitments and so was gone by the time Djokovic faced Thiem.

They face Germany's Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Colombia's Robert Farah, who beat Australia's Casey Dellacqua and Rajeev Ram of the U.S. 6-7 (5), 6-3, 10-5 in the other semi-final.

"If I play well, I hope that I will be able to book my spot in the final". Djokovic led 4-2 and looked to be in control.

She allowed Halep just four winners in the first set and coasted to within sight of the last-four, but the Romanian ran away with 12 of the last 13 games to avenge her loss in the Rome final. Thiem put in a superb performance, but on a day of blustery winds, Djokovic showed little hint of the competitive instincts that have made him the world's best player for so much of this decade.

As Djokovic noted, in May, he split with his entire coaching staff, citing the need to find "that winning spark again".

Thiem must now upend familiar foe Rafael Nadal - who progressed when Pablo Carreno Busta retired while trailing 6-2 2-0 - to make a maiden grand slam final. It was a very exciting first set of tennis that took 75 minutes before it was decided. I was not in a position to play well the way I wanted to.

If Pliskova ousts Halep on Thursday, the Czech will replace Angelique Kerber as the women's No. 1.

  • Julie Sanders