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Roland-Garros: Novak Djokovic beats Matteo Berrettini to organize the confrontation with Rafael Nadal |  Tennis News


Djokovic aims to become the first player in the open era to have won all four Grand Slam titles on multiple occasions; World No.1 will face 13-time champion Nadal for a spot in Sunday’s showpiece

Last updated: 09/06/21 23:57

Djokovic is one of only two players to win over Nadal at Roland Garros

Novak Djokovic challenged a valiant retaliation from Italy’s Matteo Berrettini to stage a tantalizing semi-final showdown against 13-time champion Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros.

For the first time at Roland Garros this year, 5,000 spectators were present for the flagship evening, although they were forced to leave halfway through the fourth set, the match exceeding the Parisian curfew of 11 pm.

Djokovic was leading 2-1 in sets and leading 3-2 when play was briefly suspended, as some fans of the Philippe-Chatrier court expressed their displeasure with the decision, mocking and chanting: “We paid, we will remain “.

Berrettini was threatening an unlikely comeback after winning the third set tiebreaker, and Djokovic looked in danger of being involved in another five-set set against an Italian opponent, after coming back from two sets to defeat 19-year-old Lorenzo Musetti. years, in the last 16.

Djokovic vs Berrettini – The Stats

Djokovic Berrettini
Ace ten 11
% of first service 70% 65%
Recorded break points 3/3 5/9
Winners 44 55
Unforced errors 19 51

However, the world number one challenged a brutal strike from Berrettini to wrap up a 6-3 6-2 6-7 7-5 victory in 3 hours and 32 minutes, to set up a successful showdown against “The King of Clay. “.

It promises to be a fascinating struggle, with both men continuing their own slices of history. For Nadal, a record 14th Roland-Garros crown will see the Spaniard usurp Roger Federer’s 20 Grand Slam titles.

Meanwhile, Djokovic aims to become the first player in the Open Era to have won all four majors on multiple occasions, and his quarter-final victory makes him the second player behind Federer to appear in 40 semi-finals. of the Grand Slam.

Djokovic on the way to making history

Roland-Garros: Novak Djokovic beats Matteo Berrettini to organize the confrontation with Rafael Nadal |  Tennis News

Nadal has won seven of his eight games against Djokovic at Roland Garros

Entering the contest, Djokovic had saved 16 of his 19 breakpoints encountered at this year’s event, and this tip was displayed in the opening exchanges.

Berrettini created break points in three separate games, but failed to break through Djokovic’s defenses, and the Serbian took advantage of his only break opportunity to finish 6-3.

After weathering the storm at the start, Djokovic began to dominate proceedings in the second set, showing off his remarkable comeback prowess to break the Italian on serve twice more.

Berrettini had faced just four break points throughout the tournament, but his serving struggles in the second set were indicative of the relentless pressure exerted by the 18-time Grand Slam champion.

Roland-Garros: Novak Djokovic beats Matteo Berrettini to organize the confrontation with Rafael Nadal |  Tennis News

Berrettini won the third set tiebreaker

Djokovic continued to force errors with his remarkable defensive work and the Italian watched the barrel of a straight-set exit, only to rally in a high-octane third set tie-break.

The pendulum swung into a convincing breaker, but consecutive unforced errors by Djokovic created an opening and Berrettini, who hit 23 winners in the third set, gratefully capitalized to reduce the backlog.

The 25-year-old was gaining confidence and thriving with the support of the French partisan crowd, although the temporary stoppage of play threatened to stifle his momentum.

On their return, Djokovic was caught on the wrong foot and injured his left hand after slipping on red soil, although for the second set in a row he remained calm on his own serve.

Roland-Garros: Novak Djokovic beats Matteo Berrettini to organize the confrontation with Rafael Nadal |  Tennis News

The game was briefly suspended as fans were forced to leave due to the government-imposed Covid-19 curfew

The 34-year-old had lost his last six tie-breaks to the Italian opposition and with the prospect of another looming, Djokovic produced exquisite play to seal his progress.

Berrettini – who has played with great art and power in the latter stages – saved two match points in a captivating final, but Djokovic was not to be denied.

The 2016 champion delivered two precise returns to wrap up the victory and it sparked astonishing celebrations from the Serbian, who made up for the lack of fans with his deafening roars.

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