The Serbian, in the running for his 19th Grand Slam title, was forced to dig deep to keep the resurrected Berrettini at bay, eventually winning 6-3 6-2 6-7 (5) 7-5.
The match had seemed like a formality for Djokovic who made it through the opening two sets smoothly, but Berrettini recovered in the third to produce a thrilling conclusion to the quarter-finals, which even saw the world number one suffer hand cuts after one. dramatic fall.
Both players also had to contend with a game stoppage midway through the fourth set with fans forced to leave in accordance with the Paris 11pm Covid-19 curfew.
A group of fans sat and whistled instructions, forcing both players off the pitch until the stadium was empty.
Despite the distractions, the fiery Djokovic took advantage of a third match point in the fourth set, sparking lightning cheers aimed at his box.
“This match had it all: crashes, crowds, breakups,” Djokovic told reporters after the match. “It was a lot of intensity. I felt tense the whole time and I missed a few opportunities to finish it in three.
“It was just super, super stressful to be under constant pressure […] the reaction in the end was precisely to release the tension that was accumulating throughout the game “.
On Friday Djokovic will face Rafael Nadal for a place in the final at Roland Garros. The pair have enjoyed intense rivalry over the course of their careers with Djokovic leading the 29-28 head-to-head clash.
However, Nadal is dominant on clay and won his 13th French Open last October by beating Djokovic in the final.
“It’s not like any other game. Let’s face it, it’s the biggest challenge you can have playing on clay against Nadal on this pitch. It doesn’t get any bigger than that,” Djokovic said after winning his quarter-final the final.
“There’s that extra tension and expectations. The vibrations are different walking on the pitch with him. But that’s why our rivalry has been historic, I think for this sport.
“I’m confident. I think I can win, otherwise I wouldn’t be here. Let’s have a good fight.”