PARIS - Novak Djokovic eventually overpowered mercurial Latvian Ernests Gulbis 6-3 6-3 3-6 6-3 in the French Open semi-finals on Friday, using his more consistent play to set up a chance to win the only grand slam that has eluded him.
The number two seed displayed ice cool efficiency the first two sets, more consistent in his shots and serves in the pair's first match since 2011.
But moments of casual brilliance from Gulbis and a drop in Djokovic's composure gave the 18th seed the third with an ace - after it had seemed Djokovic only needed to put his foot on the gas slightly to make unruffled progress to the final.
Djokovic upped his levels, however, in the fourth as Gulbis started to wilt, earning the right to take on king of clay Rafa Nadal or Wimbledon champion Andy Murray in Sunday's final.
(Reporting by Alison Williams, editing by Ed Osmond)