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.
Novak Djokovic won a brutal encounter against Rafael Nadal at the French Open
But, the match story was entirely different. Even though the Serb lost the first set trying to set himself into the match, he bounced back stronger than ever to clinch the next three sets against invincible Nadal.
The match had everything. Right from intense baseline exchanges to double-faults, the duo ensured to give fans right amount of entertainment and made their pennies worth.
After winning the second set, the level of tennis played in the third can be considered one of the best in recent times. It was a roller-coaster ride of ups and downs for both the players as they brought the best out of each other.
The set went to a tie-breaker, where Djokovic with his sharp serves and clutch returns, dominated Nadal from the baseline. It took 1.5hours for the set to be completed and the Serb came out on top of Nadal.
Due to this high-quality matchup, the French Open organizers allowed fans to stay beyond the curfew at 11 pm(Paris time). Just when fans thought that it would be yet another five-set thriller, Nadal appeared to be worn out after giving his best in the third set.
With heavy pressure from Djokovic on the return games, the Spaniard made numerous double-faults and gave away a couple of his service games to Djokovic. Riding high on momentum, the Serb closed out the match in an emphatic manner and registered a second victory over Nadal at Roland Garros.
Speaking about the match, the Serb mentioned that it was a privilege to share the court with Nadal and be a part of an intriguing contest.
“The first thing I want to say is it was my privilege also to be on the court with Rafa for this incredible match. It is surely the greatest match I have played here in Paris. It’s also the match with the best atmosphere and ambiance and energy”, added the world number one.
“The first thing I want to say is it was my privilege also to be on the court with Rafa for this incredible match. It is surely the greatest match I have played here in Paris. It’s also the match with the best atmosphere and ambiance and energy.”
— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) June 11, 2021
The Serb went on to praise his greatest rival for the quality they brought together on-court. He also said that it was one of the night he will never forget.
“Rafa has been the most dominant player in the history of Roland Garros. You have to climb Mount Everest to win against him here. That’s why I will always remember this”, concluded the Serb.
Novak Djokovic: «Rafa has been the most dominant player in the history of Roland Garros. You have to climb Mount Everest to win against him here. That’s why I will always rememver this.» #Djokovic #Nadal #RolandGarros
— Simon Häring (@_shaering) June 11, 2021
With this memorable victory, Novak Djokovic will now face Stefanos Tsitsipas in the finals of French Open 2021. If both the men’s singles semi-finals are anything to go by, be prepared for high-quality tennis in the championship match.