Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal put on a riveting show Friday at Roland Garros. The men’s tennis giants battled deep into the Paris night, with Djokovic ultimately prevailing 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-2 to advance to Sunday’s French Open final.
Djokovic denied Nadal an opportunity to pass Roger Federer for most Grand Slam singles titles. Nadal and Federer remain tied at 20 apiece. Djokovic, meanwhile, will go for his 19th major title when he faces Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.
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The spectators inside Court Philippe-Chatrier were wildly entertained, to the point that they chanted that they wouldn’t leave when France’s 11 p.m. curfew took effect. Tournament organizers announced in the fourth set that they could remain, due to “the extraordinary nature of this match.”
Tennis Twitter was equally enthralled after watching the 34-year-old Djokovic and the 35-year-old Nadal go head-to-head for four hours and 11 minutes and the top-seeded Djokovic rally to hand the third-seeded Nadal just his third loss in 108 matches on the Roland Garros clay.
Not sure if I have just watched the most extraordinary tennis match in my privileged career! @DjokerNole ending the reign of the greatest on clay – Rafael Nadal @Vijay_Amritraj I missed you in commentary!
— Alan Wilkins (@alanwilkins22) June 11, 2021
The greatest rivalry this generation will ever see. Down goes the king of clay.Novak Djokovic is the first ever player to beat Rafael Nadal twice at the #frenchopen2021 .
No matter how hard you troll him, he always gets stronger. #NoleFam
— Yash (@One_potatoo) June 11, 2021
I have to say that Nadal’s fighting spirit remains unmatched in the history of tennis and probably sports overall.
— Simone Curto (@CurtoSimone) June 11, 2021