Sprinting, sliding and stretching, anticipating each other’s moves for four sets and more than four hours, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal produced a masterpiece in the French Open semifinals.
Djokovic, as it happens, is one of only two men in tennis history who knows what it takes to beat Nadal at Roland Garros. And now Djokovic has done it twice — this time ending Nadal’s bid for a 14th championship there and record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title overall by coming back to win their 58th career matchup 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-2.It was Nadal’s third loss in 108 matches at a tournament he won each of the last four years, including by beating Djokovic in the 2020 final.
Nadal’s first defeat at the French Open came against Robin Soderling in 2009; the next against Djokovic in 2015.
Indian cricketers were left speechless after watching two greats in action.
“This is not just tennis! This is bench marking of the highest order. #NovakvsNadal,” tweeted Ashwin.
“Nadal losing the semifinal at Roland Garros after being one set UP. Bizarre Times! Inhuman effort for every single point though,” wrote Washington Sundar before tweeting: “Intensity. Sheer passion. Absolute Delight”
Dinesh Karthik couldn’t believe what he saw and urged fans to watch the game in replay.
Former India cricketer Wasim Jaffer tweeted in his unique style.