Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal put on a captivating show on Friday at Roland Garros. The men’s tennis giants fought deep into the Parisian night, Djokovic ultimately winning 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-2 to advance to the Roland Garros final on Sunday.
Djokovic denied Nadal the chance to overtake Roger Federer for most Grand Slam singles titles. Nadal and Federer remain tied at 20 each. Djokovic, meanwhile, will seek his 19th major title when he faces Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.
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The spectators inside the Philippe-Chatrier court had a lot of fun, to the point that they chanted that they would not be leaving when the 11 p.m. curfew in France went into effect. Tournament organizers have announced in the fourth set that they may stay, due to “the extraordinary nature of this game”.
Tennis Twitter was equally enthralled after seeing Djokovic, 34, and Nadal, 35, face off for four hours and 11 minutes and the rally, seeded Djokovic, hand over to third-seeded Nadal, just his third defeat in 108 matches on clay at Roland Garros.
I don’t know if I just watched the most extraordinary tennis match of my privileged career! @DjokerNole end the reign of the greatest on clay – Rafael Nadal @Vijay_Amritraj I missed you in the comments!
– Alan Wilkins (@ alanwilkins22) June 11, 2021
The biggest rivalry this generation will ever see. The king of the clay descends. Novak Djokovic is the first player to beat Rafael Nadal twice in the # frenchopen2021 .
No matter how much you troll him, he always gets stronger. #NoleFam
– Yash (@One_potatoo) June 11, 2021
I must say that Nadal’s combativeness remains unmatched in the history of tennis and probably of sport in general.
– Simone Curto (@CurtoSimone) June 11, 2021