The number 1 in the world eliminates the champion of 13 Roland Garros: 3-6 6-3 7-6 6-2. Goes to the final with Tsitsipas
The king has fallen from the throne. Novak Djokovic beat Rafa Nadal in 4 sets: 3-6 6-3 7-6 6-2. Those ferocious screams, those haunted eyes after the victory suffered against Matteo Berrettini, were the fruit of fear. The fear that his mission would not come to an end. Beating Rafa Nadal at Roland Garros, an obsession that Novak Djokovic has been carrying with him since October 2020, from that final lost in three sets by the Spanish champion. It ended badly for him, crashed 6-0 6-2 7-5, a humiliation that still burned.
When you have won 18 Grand Slams you have to find a way to feed the sacred fire of competition and take revenge for that blow was the fuel that made him the only one to beat Rafa Nadal in Paris twice on the three defeats of the Manacor phenomenon. Who now updates his unreal Parisian score: 105 wins and 3 defeats, one in 2009 with Soderling and the other in 2015 with Djokovic. On both occasions, however, whoever tripped the King then lost in the final. Soderling against Federer and Nole with Wawrinka. And so on Sunday, the number 1 in the world will try to reverse the prediction against Stefanos Tsitsipas with a double goal: the second title at Roland Garros and continue the road to the Grand Slam, with Wimbledon at the door. “One of the most beautiful emotions of my life – said Djokovic after the sweetest of revenge -. Beating Nadal here is a rare thing, the energy on the pitch was very high and I think it was the best match of the tournament also thanks to the public”.
A war of the worlds, a match of unreal beauty in spite of what one would have imagined at the start, with Nadal immediately escaping 5-0 with the ghost of a bagel, like last year, at the opening. The set takes him home Rafa, but Nole slowly enters the regime and in the second set he takes a tie. Nadal takes a break, perhaps to have a muscle problem treated. The third set is a thriller. Continuous reversal of fronts between breaks and counter-breaks and very long games. It feels like there’s more than just a set up for grabs. Between the 5th and 7th game there are three breaks. With Rafa’s extraordinary counterbreak in the 10th for 5-5 and service, after he had been down 5-3. The Chatrier naturally goes crazy and after another incredible game Rafa, the owner of the field, leads 6-5. You get to the advantages with the lefty having a set point. But Nole never dies and we go to the tie break that wins the number 1 after 92 minutes of a show that only the greatest can bring on stage.
The audience starts screaming “We are not leaving” and while Novak Djokovic goes to change (perhaps only his underwear as with Musetti) comes the announcement: “Waiver of curfew for spectators on the Chatrier”. We start again, a fourth set that could be decisive. And it starts again with a break point for Nadal that he realizes in the frenzy of the public. But nole does not give up, recovers and extends up to 5-2 30-0. Nadal gives up the service and the match. End of an era?
June 11, 2021 (change June 11, 2021 | 23:40)
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