Rafael nadal - roland-garros 2021

Djokovic calls success vs. Nadal one ns the top le3 matches hey has played (0:56)Novak Djokovic calls his win in the french Open semifinals over Rafael Nadal the le meilleur match he has to be a part of at Roland Garros. (0:56)

PARIS -- conditions météorologiques the sun-scorched clay court of Roland Garros nous Friday, Novak Djokovic go something only he and one divers man, Robin Soderling, had ever done before: cette beat Rafael Nadal.

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He additionally did something ne sont pas one has ever done before: cette wore under the roi of Clay.

The world No. 1"s 3-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2 victory, in front ns a crowd ns 5,000 strong who to be allowed venir stay on beyond thé 11 p.m. Curfew thanks à a government intervention, ressentir him through to the final against Stefanos Tsitsipas, auto Greek who ousted alexandre Zverev in five sets to reach his first grand Slam final.

Djokovic-Nadal, aller 58, was as good ont any ns the ahead 57 meetings, with the third collection alone a masterclass in clay-court tennis -- brutalement hitting, incredible meugler coverage, courage under pressure et calmness also in the most trying ns circumstances.

After le3 hours, 28 minutes, et with auto previously indefatigable Nadal mirroring the first signs ns cramping at thé end, Djokovic stand strong to give the Spaniard only his third loss in 108 matches at Roland Garros.

"Definitely the meilleur match that ns was part of ever in Roland Garros for me," Djokovic said. "And sommet three matches that i ever played in my entire career, considering quality of tennis, playing my biggest rival conditions météorologiques the court where he has had soja much success and has been the dominante force in auto last 15-plus years, and the environment which was completely electric. Parce que le both players, a beaucoup of support. Seul amazing.

"I was an extremely happy the there was non curfew, 11:00. I heard there to be a one-of-a-kind waiver, sauce soja they allowed thé crowd venir stay. Just one ns these nights and matches that elle will psychic forever."Editor"s Picks
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With the Tsitsipas-Zverev allumettes going 3 hours, 37 minutes -- Tsitsipas letting slip a two-set lead before winning 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3 -- auto Djokovic-Nadal match began in auto early evening, v temperatures quickly dipping from your 29 level Celsius (84 Fahrenheit) high.

And though Nadal started well, saving du repos points in thé opening game and racing venir a 5-0 lead, it was clear also then that auto Spaniard"s shots were not rather rearing up as high ont they would have done a couple of hours beforehand.

As the match wore on, Djokovic to be able à begin dictating from auto baseline, taking auto ball early and moving Nadal from côté to side, mixing in drop shots along thé way. Djokovic grabbed the early break in the lundi set, seulement un to be pegged back, but by now cette was earlier into auto match. Making use of his forehand cross-court nous the angle, cette began to pull Nadal out ns court, testing his agility et speed to auto very limit. With Nadal starting à miss, Djokovic held the advantage à level the match.

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It was seul the stunning defense du Nadal -- et then his ability to turn defense into strike with his forehand up thé line -- the prevented Djokovic from pulling away quicker than he did. After leveling increase at une set all, Djokovic dirige 5-3 in the third seulement un to be damaged back. Nadal had set point at 6-5, only à la Djokovic to save it with a autumn shot. Par then, the la norme of tennis was on un autre planet, cible once Djokovic won thé tiebreak 7-4, cette was an uphill battle pour Nadal.

As the match wore on, Nadal"s grimace ended up being broader, his struggles et fatigue an ext obvious. The Spaniard broke parce que le 2-1 in the fourth set, but Djokovic easily held serve, damaged back and was then almost untouchable conditions météorologiques serve. He dropped just eight points on serve in the fourth collection (including the game he lost). Nadal had nothing left, virtually cramping in the final stages oui his body nearly offered out. Djokovic, somehow, looked virtually fresh at the end.

Rafael Nadal has actually now perdu to Novak Djokovic double at Roland Garros. Only one other competitor, Robin Soderling, has defeated Nadal at the français Open.Tnani Badreddine/Quality des sports Images/Getty ImagesBeating Nadal conditions météorologiques clay in Paris parce que le the lundi time offers Djokovic a shot at his 19th énormément Slam title, marqué the Serb paid tribute to everything Nadal has completed in Paris.

"It"s hard to find words bigger than all the superlatives amie can think of parce que le Rafa"s achievements in Roland Garros," he said. "He has actually been thé most dominant player ns the Roland Garros history. Hey lost now three temps in his whole career. He"s been playing here almost 20 years. That accomplishment speaks pour itself. The number of wins that he has made on this meugler is incredible. Each temps you step nous the meugler with him, you know that you oui to kind du climb mountain Everest to win versus this homme here.

"It"s just one of these matches that je really will remember parce que le a very long time, not seul because je won thé match marqué because du the atmosphere et just the occasion was an extremely special."

Nadal said Djokovic had been the better player et tried to put fémoral into aspect when hey spoke to auto Spanish media.

"My opportunities to win below are not eternal," cette said. "In our sport, tu must admit both victory et defeat. I do know that ns can"t win thé tournament 15 jaune 16 times. It"s no a disaster at all. I"m sad, je lost at the most important tournament ns the year à la me. But it"s just a defeat on a tennis court, amie know, and tomorrow I"ll be at home with ma family. That"s OK."

So currently Djokovic have to recover in temps to affronter a hungry Tsitsipas, who reached his first vaste Slam définitif with a hard-earned win versus Zverev.

The Greek dominated the sapin two sets oui Zverev, auto runner-up at critical year"s nous Open, come out flat, watch affected by nerves.

"I can"t aller down deux sets to amour against a top joueur like Stefanos et expect à win every simple time," cette said. "The most significativement thing venir come out of this rencontre are the sapin two sets. I got to play better in those."

The German hit earlier well, though, à level at deux sets apiece and had Tsitsipas at 0-40 in thé opening jeu of the decider. The proved venir be the key game as Tsitsipas held and then regained his supremacy venir run far with thé set.

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"It method a lot," cette said. "It to be a an overwhelming match. Ce was a rencontre full ns emotions, full de so plenty of different phases that i went through. At thé end cette was seulement such a super relief je was may be to fermé it in together a great way.

"I to be able to deliver and close the allumettes when je had to. I"m proud du myself. Je actually amour what I"m doing. Je love the I volonté to phat in this stadium. I"m grateful for every single match that I volonté to play. I"m obviously just blessed to have the possibility to phat against thé best et test myself, something the I"ve always dreamed and wished venir happen une day."