Nadal left the ball in the net on Nole’s first break point in the second set and the gap narrowed. The Serb reduced the deficit, held serve for the first time in the set and lost 3-2.
With tremendous solidity, Nadal breaks Djokovic’s serve again, this time in the first chance he has on the third point of the second set and takes a much bigger advantage: he is on the service winner 6-2 and 3-0 .
Via his Twitter account, Juan Martín del Potro analyzes and predicts: “Rafa is playing very well and I think Nole is using the wrong tactics. You have to raise your level in order to match the game. If Nole doesn’t improve a bit, I think it will be a game without any scares.”
The first point of the second set was once again very long, like at the start of the game. Nole committed his first double fault of the match when it was 15-0 and Nadal broke it again, after 13 minutes and on the seventh chance he had. The Spaniard leads 1-0.
Rafa took advantage of two out of four break chances, while the Serb missed out on one of the two chances he had. Moreover, the Mallorcan managed 12 winning shots against only 8 from Djokovic, with more unforced errors than his rival (9 against 6).
After 50 minutes of play, Nadal held his serve firmly again and closed the set with a serve that Djokovic could not return. The Spaniard wins the initial partial by 6-2.
In front of 5-2 and with new balls, Nadal seeks to close the set against Djokovic. Of the 58 times they have faced each other, in 50 the winner of the first set has won the match.
“Djokovic’s first serve is mediocre and Rafa takes advantage of it”, warns the Spaniard David Ferrer, finalist at Roland Garros in 2013. Immediately, his compatriot does not forgive mistakes and breaks Djokovic again, to stretch the advantage: 4 -1 .
Rafa plays deep to get good returns. Thus, he returned from a match in which he had made a break against. He keeps the service to put the Spaniards 3-1.
Nadal won his serve uncomplicated to go 2-0 and Nole saved his serve this time to stay in play, with two aces. The Spaniard returns to serve, 2-1.
Nadal took advantage of the third break he obtained and broke Djokovic’s serve on the first point of the match: the Serb left the ball in the back of the net. The Spaniard made it 1-0 after 11 minutes.
Djokovic serving. The match begins with Nadal on the main court of Roland Garros, for the quarter-finals, in the best of five sets.
Before a historic duel at Roland Garros, Juan Martín Del Potro generated a survey of the taste of his supporters. He has a clear favorite, in principle.
The Serb has won the toss and will start serving. Djokovic will take the initiative after a few minutes of rallying. In the presentation of the players, the Spaniard broke the applause meter.
Nadal, the king of clay, and defending champion Djokovic are already presented and enter Philippe Chatrier to meet in the quarter-finals of Roland Garros. It could be a final of any Grand Slam, but they will define the second semi-finalist in Paris.
Djokovic will face the match after a flawless campaign in which he didn’t drop a set and scored four wins against Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka (99), Slovakia’s Alex Molcan (38), Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene (195) and Argentinian Diego Schwartzman (16). . Nadal, for his part, left the Australian Jordan Thompson (82), the French Corentin Moutet (139), the Dutchman Botic Van De Zandschulp (29) and finally the Canadian Félix Auger Aliassime (9) in the fifth set and after four hours and 22 minutes of battle. The winner of the cross between the Serb and the Spaniard will play one of the semi-finals of Roland Garros with the German Alexander Zverev (3), who eliminated Carlos Alcaraz in four sets on Tuesday.
At Roland Garros, Nadal leads Djokovic 7-2 in their personal matches, since the first time he beat him in the 2006 edition 6-4, 6-4 and retired, also in the quarter-finals .
The duel number 59 between two of the three giants of world tennis (the other is Roger Federer, inactive due to injury) has several seasonings that embellish the meeting, since the Spaniard is aiming for his 14th crown in Paris and holds the record of 21 Grand Slam tournaments. titles, one more than the Serbian and the Swiss. Djokovic, who leads the standings with a two-game advantage, 30-28, knows that Nadal is the great enemy to beat to win the title and will try to beat him as he did last year in the semi-finals. final, when he beat him 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) and 6-2, to later beat Greek Stéfanos Tsitsipas in the final.
Serbian Novak Djokovic, world number one and defending champion, and Spaniard Rafael Nadal, winner of 13 trophies at Roland Garros, face off today in a quarter-final of the Parisian Grand Slam which captures the most attention of the tournament. Djokovic (1) and “Rafa” Nadal (5) meet in the fourth and final round of center court Philippe Chatrier, in an anticipated final, televised by ESPN and the Star+ platform.