Novak Djokovic on Friday stunned Rafael Nadal in the men’s singles semi-final of the French Open, beating the Spaniard in four sets 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-2. The Serbian tennis star will now face Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.
Known as the ‘King of Clay,’ Nadal was eying at his 14th French Open title but failed to beat Djokovic even after winning the first set convincingly. This was only the third defeat that Nadal has faced at Roland Garros in his 108 outings here.
Speaking about his stunning win against Nadal, Djokovic said that this was one ‘of the top three matches’ of his career. “It was one of these matches you can remember forever. It was one of the top three matches in my life,” he said.
Djokovic added, “To win against Rafa on this court you have to play your best tennis, and tonight I played my best tennis.”
Former Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova too was left awestruck by the quality of the contest between Nadal and Djokovic as she tweeted, “In awe of what we just witnessed for the past 4 hours @DjokerNole @RafaelNadal forever champs!!”
— Maria Sharapova (@MariaSharapova) June 11, 2021
Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray agreed. “You cannot play better clay court tennis than this. It’s perfect,” the British tennis star tweeted.
Can’t believe this match is going to finish with zero crowd ???? why does tennis do this to itself?????♂️
— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) June 11, 2021
Nadal was aiming at winning his 21st Grand Slam at the French Open, but now Djokovic must recover from his epic semi-final contest to face 22-year-old Tsitsipas to win his 19th Grand Slam title. The Greek had defeated German sixth seed Alexander Zverev in a five-set battle in the first semi-final on Friday.