French Open 2021 LIVE: Nadal vs Djokovic semi-final latest updates from Roland Garros

Nadal: Djokovic is world’s best

It’s here, Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal meet again in a colossal French Open 2021 semi-final.

This is one of the all-time great rivalries in sport, with Djokovic holding a slight advantage overall, leading 29-28 in the head-to-head.

But it is the Spaniard who holds an overall advantage head-to-head in Grand Slams, 20-18. With the reigning champion at Roland Garros naturally holding a dominant record on the clay in Paris over the Serbian, leading 13-1.

“Let’s face it, it’s the biggest challenge that you can have playing on clay against Nadal on this court in which he has had so much success in his career,” Djokovic remarked, not mixing his words or downplaying the challenge in front of him. “In the final stages of a Grand Slam, it doesn’t get bigger than that.”

The pair have won 38 Grand Slam titles between them, and Djokovic is bidding to become the first player of the Open era to win every Grand Slam at least twice.

While Nadal is looking to extend a ludicrous record of 13 successive titles at Roland Garros, with his staggering record of 105 wins from his 107 career matches. The famous defeats came in 2009, losing to Robin Soderling 2-6 7-6(2) 4-6 6-7(2) in the 4th Round, while Djokovic did get the better of him on the clay in 2015, winning 7-5, 6-3, 6-1, but he would ultimately lose in the final to Stan Wawrinka, though redemption came a year later with the title in 2016.

“We know each other well. Everybody knows that in these kind of matches anything can happen,” Nadal said after sweeping past Argentine 10th seed Diego Schwartzman in the quarter-finals. “The player who is playing better that day is the player that is going to have better chances. That’s it.

“It is going to be an important match for both of us. But is a semi-final, not a final. That’s a big difference. Even the winner of that match needs to keep going and there remains a lot of work to do to try to achieve the final goal here.”

Please follow live updates from the conclusion of Alexander Zverev vs Stefanos Tsitsipas, before the main event of Djokovic vs Nadal.

Read more:

Rafael Nadal responds to rare drop of set to reach French Open semi-finals

French Open: How to watch Nadal vs Djokovic semi-final online and on TV today

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic set for ‘great battle’ in French Open semi-final

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Djokovic vs Nadal* 3-6 6-3 0-1* (*denotes last server)

We’re all square after nearly two hours of tennis. One set each. Pulsating stuff. Cannot put into words the level at which Novak Djokovic is playing at the moment. To compete with Nadal on clay is one thing, but to outplay him for more than an hour is something else entirely.

Nadal gets a reprieve at the start of the third set with a hold to 15.

The Spaniard was off court for a few minutes before the start of the third, so that may have just turned the lights of Djokovic a little. Don’t imagine that will last long.

Dylan Terry11 June 2021 20:12

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Djokovic* vs Nadal 3-6 6-3 (*denotes last server)

He is well and truly back in this. Djokovic takes his first set in 11 against Nadal at the French Open.

(Getty Images)

Dylan Terry11 June 2021 20:03

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Djokovic* vs Nadal 3-6 6-3 (*denotes last server)

Djokovic’s backhand has been the best weapon of this set from either player. He employs it again at the start of this game to brilliant effect.

But Nadal then plays one of the shots of the match with a crosscourt backhand of his own to pass the Serb and take a 15-30 lead!

Nadal then can’t force the break points as he hits the net with an unforced error. But a double fault then gives the 13-time champion a break point anyway!

Will he take this one? No. He drags his backhand down the line just an inch or two too far. Deuce.

A simply majestic backhand slice clips the service line to give Djokovic yet another break point to face.

But again the Serb has the answer. A fifth break point in a row saved from Djokovic in this match. A precise backhand sets up a simple forehand and we’re back to deuce.

Now it’s Nadal who finds the net from the serve. Set point for Djokovic.

GETS IT! We’re all level.

Dylan Terry11 June 2021 20:02

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Djokovic vs Nadal* 3-6 5-3 (*denotes last server)

Nadal desperate to keep this set alive. He finds a brilliant forehand straight out of page one of the King of Clay.

Then Djokovic hits straight back with a Serbian Special backhand.

A serve and forehand from Nadal gives him a 40-15 lead and Djokovic sends one wide to allow the Spaniard a (in the context of this match) relatively comfortable hold.

Dylan Terry11 June 2021 19:55

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Djokovic* vs Nadal 3-6 5-2 (*denotes last server)

So we are in the same game as the previous post, but nearly ten minutes in now. Djokovic still serving.

Nadal keeps the game alive with some wonderful depth on his shots. Then Djokovic answers with a backhand across the Spaniard.

And Nadal loses his rag with the forehand to hand the Serb the game. That had to be close to 12 minutes.

Dylan Terry11 June 2021 19:50

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Djokovic* vs Nadal 3-6 4-2 (*denotes last server)

Djokovic misses a smash but he recovers instantly to play a brilliant drop shot.

The Serb is in control of the match now and seems to be getting stronger.

Just as I type that out, Nadal wins two more attritional rallies to pile the pressure straight back on Djokovic at 15-40.

Does the Serb have the answer? He does at the first time of asking, running onto a high smash to put Nadal away.

And then an awfully sliced backhand lands miles wide of the baseline from Nadal. Deuce.

Nadal then claws back a Djokovic backhand from so far behind the baseline. And it pays off as Djokovic puts the resulting volley into the net.

Back and forth and back and forth and eventually Djokovic wins out when he was faced with break point against his serve. Nadal finds the net to bring it back to deuce as we enter the ninth minute of the game.

Dylan Terry11 June 2021 19:46

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Djokovic vs Nadal* 3-6 4-2 (*denotes last server)

A superb crosscourt backhand from Djokovic gives him a 0-15 lead. He follows that up with a pinpoint overhead smash to take it to 0-30.

More pressure from Djokovic takes it to 40-0. Nadal then tries to close the door with a smash to take one break point away.

And another is saved by Nadal as the pair exchange drop shots at the net before the Spaniard wins out.

But Djokovic claims the third! A gruelling rally goes the Serb’s way. Massive game.

Dylan Terry11 June 2021 19:38

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Djokovic* vs Nadal 3-6 3-2 (*denotes last server)

Both men giving it their all out there.

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Dylan Terry11 June 2021 19:32

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Djokovic* vs Nadal 3-6 3-2 (*denotes last server)

Djokovic takes a 30-15 lead and then forces an error from the backhand of Nadal.

One of the quickest holds of the match from Djokovic as Nadal finds the net with uncharacteristic regularity in this game.

The Serb holds to 15 to take a 3-2 lead. Nothing in this set at the moment.

Dylan Terry11 June 2021 19:31

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Djokovic vs Nadal* 3-6 2-2 (*denotes last server)

Nadal is relentless. Djokovic raises his game for 20 minutes or so to take a lead in a set but it’s the Spaniard’s consistent level of performance that just means no one can live with him over the course of a match on clay.

Two more errors from Djokovic gives Nadal a 30-15 lead but the 13-time champion then goes astray with his own forehand.

A great serve swinging away from Djokovic down the middle allows him a simple smash to move 40-30 in front. And he closes it out to level things up in the second set.

Dylan Terry11 June 2021 19:27




The article from the source

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