Nadal, a seven-time event champion, prevailed 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 9-7, denying Djokovic an opportunity to become the eighth man to complete a career grand slam. The Serb fought back from a fourth-set deficit to force an epic showdown in the final frame but once again exits Paris empty-handed.
The hallowed red clay of Roland Garros played host to a memorable showdown between two of the game's greats. The victory adds to Nadal's growing legend as a French Open mainstay and continues his monopoly on titles at the tournament.
He is now 58-1 at the event, reaching his eighth final in nine years. Nadal is now 20-15 versus Djokovic, owning a 13-3 advantage on clay surface.
Nadal awaits a finals collision with the winner of David Ferrer versus Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who is the first Frenchman to advance this far since 2008.