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Rafa getting stronger as French reaches final

Rafa and Roger will meet for the second straight year in the French Open final; however, while Federer battled for three hours on Friday, Nadal got better as his match went longer.

Updated: June 8, 2007, 5:49 PM ET
By Bonnie DeSimone | Special to ESPN.com

PARIS -- One could argue that the most revealing statistic in Friday's French Open semifinal between Spain's Rafael Nadal and Serbia's Novak Djokovic was also the most straightforward statistic: time.

First set: 66 minutes. 7-5.

Second set: 48 minutes. 6-4.

Third set: 34 minutes. 6-2.

Conclusion: It seldom pays to get in the way of the inevitable.

Djokovic's debut in a Grand Slam final four came in a match where he was least likely to succeed, given his opponent. The advantage ...

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