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Roland-Garros: Novak Djokovic inflicts only the third defeat to Rafael Nadal at Roland-Garros with an epic victory in the semi-final | Tennis News


Novak Djokovic adds to what only he and Robin Soderling have achieved before and defeats great Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros to end the Spaniard’s hopes of a 14th title in Paris and a record 21st Grand Slam overall; Serbian will aim to win 19th Grand Slam title on Sunday

Last update: 06/12/21 12:11 AM

Novak Djokovic came from a set to defeat Rafael Nadal in a spellbinding four hour and 11 minute epic to reach the Roland Garros final on Sunday

World No.1 Novak Djokovic inflicted only the third defeat to Rafael Nadal’s domination at Roland Garros to reach his sixth final at Roland Garros on a night of sports drama.

Djokovic, who also beat Nadal in the quarter-finals in 2015, sealed a remarkable 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 victory over the 13-time champion in a football atmosphere. Cour Philippe Chatrier.

Nadal had won his previous 13 semi-finals but, in a 58th game between the two that was tied with almost everyone who had come before him, Djokovic found the answers to the sport’s biggest challenge to win an extraordinary match.

In Sunday’s final, Djokovic will face Stefanos Tsitsipas – winner of a five-set contest with Alexander Zverev earlier on Friday – when he can lift himself to a title from the Spaniard and Roger Federer to the top of the men’s all-time standings. . Grand Slam ranking and also becomes the first of the trio to win each tournament at least twice.

Nadal received a long standing ovation as he stepped off the pitch, leaving Djokovic to try to sum up what had just happened.

“The first thing I want to say is that it was my privilege to also be on the pitch with Rafa in this incredible game,” he said. “It must have been the best game I have played here in Paris. It is also the game with the best atmosphere, the best atmosphere and the best energy.”

Nadal won the game’s opening five games as he looked on track to repeat his beating from the Serbian last October for the seven-game loss.

But Djokovic grabbed the momentum, winning the second set, then edging out a pretty incredible 97-minute third set in arguably one of the greatest tie-breaks of all time, after saving a set point.

The crowd of around 5,000 reached a crescendo towards the end of the third set as the Paris Covid-19 curfew loomed.

The biggest joy of the evening came with the announcement that the fans, who were to be kicked out at 11 p.m. KST, were in fact allowed to stay, meaning the magnificent contest could continue to be honored by a live audience.

However, there was no respite for Nadal, 35, who had won 105 of his previous 107 matches on Paris clay, as his seemingly inexhaustible resolve was ultimately shattered.

Djokovic looked fresh despite spending nearly four hours battling the world’s greatest clay player as he ruthlessly moved closer to victory.

After breaking for a 4-2 lead, the end came quickly as he inflicted the great Spaniard’s first defeat at Roland Garros in six years.

Djokovic then spoke about Nadal’s dominance on earth, saying: “The number of victories he has had on this pitch is incredible. Every time you step onto the pitch with him you know you have to in some way. so climb Mount Everest to win against this guy here. “

Djokovic vs Nadal: the match statistics

Djokovic Match statistics Nadal
6 Ace 6
3 Double faults 8
65% Percentage of 1st serve win 59%
50% Percentage of victory on 2nd serve 40%
08/22 Break points earned 6/16
50 Total winners 48
37 Unforced errors 55
142 Total points earned 124

Nadal must have regretted a lack of precision in important moments. He said: “It was probably not my best day there. Even though I struggled, I put in a lot of effort, the position on the shots was not as effective tonight. a player like him, who takes the ball early, you are not able to get him out of his positions, so it’s very difficult.

“Even like that, I had a great chance with the set point, 6-5, second serve. Anything could happen then. Then I double fault, an easy volley in the tie-break. But it is true that there was Fatigue is there too.

“Those kind of mistakes can happen. But, if you want to win, you can’t make those mistakes. So that’s it. Good for him. It was a good fight there. I made my best. better, and today was not my day. “

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