Seven-time champion Nadal twice let a lead slip away in the fourth set Friday, then came from behind in the fifth to beat the No. 1-ranked Djokovic 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7 (3), 9-7.
Djokovic blew an easy overhead on the opening point on the final game and went on to lose serve at love, sending his final forehand long.
Nadal improved to 58-1 at Roland Garros, including five wins over Djokovic. The French Open remains the only major title Djokovic has yet to win.
Nadal is trying to become the first man to win eight titles at the same Grand Slam event.
Source: Associated Press