N. Djokovic vs R. Nadal | Roland-Garros
Men's Singles | Semifinal | 11.06.2021 | Court Philippe-Chatrier
N. Djokovic (1)
R. Nadal (3)
Hello and welcome to our live text coverage of the second French Open men's semi-final with 13-time champion Rafael Nadal defending his title yet again and world number one Novak Djokovic the latest star to attempt to usurp him at Roland Garros. We will be bringing you live game-by-game updates from this huge match very shortly.
GAME, SET AND MATCH! - NADAL 6-3 3-6 6-7 2-6 DJOKOVIC. It’s a MASSIVE moment in Roland Garros history. Djokovic breaks to 15 to take six games in a row and triumph. The 13-time champion Rafael Nadal is OUT at the semi final stage after losing for only the third time ever at the tournament. Novak Djokovic has beaten him for the second time in the Paris major (at the ninth time of asking in their H2H here) and denies the Spaniard a chance to fight for his 21st Grand Slam on Sunday. Instead, the world number one will meet Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final. A Djokovic win would take him to 19 majors and could see him become the first man in the Open era to win all four Grand Slams twice. Djokovic also takes a 30-28 lead in his overall H2H v Nadal.
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NADAL 6-3 3-6 6-7 2-5 DJOKOVIC. That’s a big step towards his goal. Djokovic keeps Nadal at bay after the Spaniard suggested he was about to make another move with a fizzing forehand up the line. A third double fault gives Rafa a glimmer but a huge wide serve quashes the hope. Mr Elastic somehow gets to a rocket of a forehand and the defensive block clips the baseline. A scintillating drop shot then claims a point he should never have had a hope of saving and the Serb consolidates. He is one game from the final.
BREAK! - NADAL 6-3 3-6 6-7 2-4 DJOKOVIC. It’s four games in a row and this match is looking beyond Nadal now. Djokovic is stunned when a defensive lob lands out. He feels he can’t miss right now. Nadal shakes his head at the constant precision and depth. Another return proves too good and the reigning champion is on the canvas. Can he get back up?
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NADAL 6-3 3-6 6-7 2-3 DJOKOVIC. This is world class from the best player on the planet. He makes it three games on the spin with another love hold. He’s keen to get this done in four.
BREAK! - NADAL 6-3 3-6 6-7 2-2 DJOKOVIC. All square. The momentum has switched back to Djokovic. Nadal helps him along with a seventh double before a brilliant return and a backhand long from Rafa earn the top seed a break to 15.
NADAL 6-3 3-6 6-7 2-1 DJOKOVIC. That was sublime. A drop shot, an overhead, a stupendous forehand and an ace rocket the Serb on to the board.
NADAL 6-3 3-6 6-7 2-0 DJOKOVIC. Nadal can’t buy a first serve and it leaves him playing catch up from 0-30 following a sixth double of the night. A wonderful drop shot after some extreme backhand defence gets him level before another miraculous forehand grab on the stretch turns the tables on Djoker and sees the No.3 seed somehow claim four points in a row.
BREAK! - NADAL 6-3 3-6 6-7 1-0 DJOKOVIC. Incredible. Nole looks composed at 30-0 but a strange choice of drop shot heightens Nadals’ interest. Djokovic dips and coughs up BP. He again has chances to make deuce but leaves a gap for Nadal to take advantage of. He steps in to lash a crosscourt backhand and get off to the start he was hoping for.
SET! - NADAL 6-3 3-6 6-7 DJOKOVIC. The Serb finally takes the third set and leads 2-1. It all changes at 4-3 in the breaker when Nadal misses a sitter of a volley at the net. Djokovic hangs on to the mini break and claims the tie break by a 7-4 scoreline. Nadal did have a set point at 6-5 in the set but in truth the world number one was the better player for much of it.
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TB LATEST: It’s finely poised at 3-3 at the change of ends. Nadal kicks it off with a shocker of a double fault. Djokovic then fires long but just about clips the line with a forehand to get back on track. The Serb defends brilliantly but can’t slice a dink over the net and then rifles a backhand just wide up the line. Djokovic goes on the offensive and swats away a volley at the net to level.
NADAL 6-3 3-6 6-6 DJOKOVIC. That was a VERY twitchy moment. Djokovic clobbers a make-able forehand long for 15-30 but keeps his nerve to put away a crosscourt overhead. He needs to re-focus from deuce when Nadal unloads a forehand up the line. The Spaniard outlasts the Serb in a stunning rally to grab a set point with a crosscourt backhand but Nole has nerves of steel to pull off a sumptuous drop shot. Nadal has two bites at a winner in the next two points but nets them both and we’ll head into a tie break.
NADAL 6-3 3-6 6-5 DJOKOVIC. Nadal is the ultimate fighter. He just hasn’t been able to hit the front after breaking back – until now. Djokovic climbs all over a second serve to turn the screw at 30-30 and then the Spaniard blasts a forehand wide. Nadal saves the BP with a brave overhead from deep but somehow Djoker wins the most ridiculous point you’ll ever see to earn a second chance. There wasn’t an inch of red dirt that didn’t get covered there. Nadal again finds clutch code to rifle a forehand up the line and save a third but a massive first serve and an ace somehow get him out of a massive hole.
BREAK! - NADAL 6-3 3-6 5-5 DJOKOVIC. Nadal gives it everything to try and break back – and he does! A wonderful backhand pass is followed by a brilliant forehand up the opposite flank. Djokovic can’t believe it and tightens up on BP. Nadal presses him back for one of the only times in the set with a flurry of forehands and lures the error. How is he level?