The 58th episode in a magnificent rivalry between two stalwarts of the game – Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, took place in the semi-finals of the French Open today. While Djokovic leads the head-to-head against Nadal with 29 victories, memories of that painful defeat against the Spaniard in the Roland Garros finals last year would sure haunt the Serb.
With Stefanos Tsitsipas winning his semi-final contest
Thirty minutes into the first set of this enthralling semi-final, Nadal was up 4-0 and looked all set to bagel the Serb. But, Djokovic’s resilience created enough problems for Nadal yet again as he consolidated one of the two breaks he lost.
In a set played over an hour, Nadal’s initial dominance over Djokovic became just enough for him to win the set, 6-3.
As the second set started, the level of play sky-rocketed to a whole new level. Even though it was Djokovic who got the first break in the set, the Spaniard broke back immediately. After a couple of intense games, it was the Serb who took the second set.
With the match leveled with one set a piece, the third set became a very significant one as the winner of this set sets the momentum for the rest of the match. In the third, it was Djokovic who drew the first blood as he broke Nadal at 2-2.
But, the Spaniard was defiant enough to take the next service game of Djokovic to a deuce. At break point down, the duo played a high-octane baseline exchange consisting of 23 shots. From Djokovic’s backhand to Nadal’s forehand, the duo hit cross-courts to each other.
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 11, 2021
In the end, it was Novak Djokovic who hit an inside out forehand winner with an accurate angle that the Spaniard couldn’t get to it. The Serb leads Nadal 4-3 in the third.