It seems that every time Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal meet, the level of play only increases. Tonight (Friday) it happened in the most prestigious position one could ask for, the Roland Garros semi-final, and the world number one did what was considered almost impossible: oust the “Majorca bull” from the tournament he won 13 times during his career. The Serb won 1: 3 in sets after four hours and 13 minutes of top tennis on both sides, en route to a meeting with Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final, with another win giving Djokovic a career-high 19 Grand Slam title – one less compared to Nadal and Roger Federer.
“Nola” rose to 28:30 in the balance of meetings between these two giants of all time, shrank to 19: 8 in meetings on a clay surface and most importantly: reduced to 7: 2 in the internal balance against “Rafa” in the French Open Championship. This will be the sixth appearance in the final for Djokovic, who actually overcame the toughest hurdle encountered at Roland Garros tonight. In his previous five appearances in the battle for the title, the Serb has only won once and lost four times – all against Nadal.
For the Spaniard, this is a missed opportunity for Paz to overtake Roger Federer and become the pinnacle of winning Grand Slam tournaments in history, as the trophy lifting would have been for him the No. 21 win in the Major. Nadal will have to wait and hope that the 39-year-old Swiss runs out of ammunition as the Wimbledon tournament emerges on the horizon.
the progress of the game
Both players stated their intentions already in the first game, which lasted about 9 minutes in which Djokovic returned with two breaking options. But Chandal withstood the pressure and took advantage of the momentum for tremendous momentum, when he broke the Serb in his first two serve games and climbed to a 0: 5 advantage. Precisely when the Spaniard submitted to the battle, “Nola” entered the game, broke back twice and took the next three games to shrink to 5: 3, before his opponent decided it was enough and after missing six battle points before, the seventh he literally went up to 0: 1 In the semifinals.
Although the reigning champion won the first set, Djokovic continued his momentum and broke quickly to go up to 0-2. The Spaniard did not panic and immediately returned to 2: 2, but the world number one scored another break and then, leading 2: 4, the battle reached its most critical game, which lasted about 10 minutes: the Serb saved three break points and went up to 2: 5 , When in the ninth game he prevented Mandal from breaking it in two more cases and took advantage of his only battle point to equalize the result in the game.
It is true that a meeting between Djokovic and Landal can develop high expectations, but what happened in the third act, apparently no one predicted. For an hour and 37 minutes, the two stars clashed, one of which broke the tie in the match, which rose to a simply tremendous level of tennis. Djokovic and Vandal kept the submissions in the first four games, but then came three consecutive breaks that put the Serb in a 3-4 lead. Djokovic later gave the game a 4: 5 advantage, but the Spaniard took advantage of a single break point in the same game to equalize to 5: 5. In the tiebreaker, a critical error of the world number two allowed his opponent to win 4: 7 and complete a makeover – 1: 2 in systems.
Nadal came up determined to return to the game and broke the Serbs’ submissions already in the first game on the way to a 0: 2 advantage, but there he actually ran out of fuel. Djokovic did not drop a single game until the end of the game, with two consecutive breaks that he scored in the first opportunity in the fourth and sixth game, when in the decisive game he saves two break points for Nadal to complete 2: 6 and one of the biggest victories of his career. .