Clay court master Rafael Nadal managed to defeat fellow superstar Novak Djokovic to reach the semifinals of the 2022 edition of the French Open.
NADAL VS DJOKOVIC WAS A GRUELLING ENCOUNTER
Rafael Nadal – who in 2010 became the youngest man in the Open Era to achieve a Career Grand Slam – has dominated the French Open over the years, winning at least four consecutive singles titles twice. His run this year was challenged in the quarter-finals by the in-form Djokovic, who is an invariably towering opponent, but a gruelling match saw Nadal reassert his dominance on the clay court.
In the 59th match putting the two on opposite courts, Nadal won the first set with relative ease, but the second set saw a to and fro contest ending with Djokovic coming out on top. The third set was a repeat of the first, with Nadal yet again winning 6-2.
The fourth set was the most interesting. Djokovic began strongly, but the King of Clay saved two set points to send the game to the decider, where the latter proved victorious. The gruelling four and a half hours long match ended with a score of 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(4) in favour of the Spaniard.
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HE STATED HIS LOVE FOR EMOTIONAL NIGHTS SUCH AS THIS
It was revenge of sorts for the Spaniard. Djokovic is one of the few tennis players to have bettered Nadal at Roland Garros: their last meeting in the 2021 edition saw the former win their semifinal encounter.
Following the match, the Serbian congratulated his opponent for his performance. “He showed why he’s a great champion. Staying there mentally tough and finishing the match the way he did. Congrats to him and his team. No doubt he deserved it,” he said.
Nadal, on the other hand, stated that he was still playing Tennis to enjoy emotional nights such as this quarterfinal encounter. “It has been a very emotional night for me. I’m still playing for nights like today. But it’s just a quarter-final match, no? So I didn’t win anything. So I just… give myself a chance to be back on the court in two days, play another semifinal here in Roland Garros… means a lot to me,” he stated post-match.