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‘They Were 99.9% By His Side’ – Novak Djokovic Says the Crowd Played a Major Factor During His Defeat Against Rafael Nadal at French Open 2022

Published 05/31/2022, 11:40 PM EDT

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The French Open 2022 draw had many surprises. World Number 1, Novak Djokovic, was drawn to face Rafael Nadal as early as the quarterfinals. The Serb knew that it would take a mammoth effort if he was to defend his Roland Garros title. However, as things panned out, the Spaniard halted Djokovic’s run at the tournament in a four-setter thriller.

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During the match, the crowd was very vocal and cheered for every point won and lost. Following his defeat, Djokovic opened up about the crowd support during his match.


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Novak Djokovic on the crowd supporting Rafael Nadal

During the post-match press conference after his quarterfinal match against Nadal, Djokovic talked about the crowd lifting his opponent. He said, “I think the crowd contributed a lot to the turnaround in the fourth set. They were 99.9% by his side and they have lifted him up in crucial moments. They helped him to find his energy.”

Indeed, Nadal is one of the favorites of the French crowd. He has won the French Open a record 13 times and has given many memorable moments at the tournament during his career.


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After Nadal took a two sets to one lead, Djokovic came back strongly in the fourth set. He broke Nadal’s serve in the second game of the fourth set. At 5-3, Djokovic was all set to serve for the fourth set. However, on the back of the crowd’s support, Nadal broke Djokovic’s serve. Eventually, it proved to be a decisive moment in the match as Nadal went on to win the tiebreaker to prevail over Djokovic.

Nadal eying his 22nd Grand Slam title

Earlier this year, Nadal became the first man to win 21 Grand Slam singles titles. He defeated Daniil Medvedev in the summit clash to lift the Australian Open title.


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With his victory over Djokovic, Nadal is just two wins away from capturing his 22nd major title. It will be an incredible effort from the Spaniard if he does manage to do so.

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Written by:

Vatsal Shah


One take at a time

Vatsal Shah is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. With a Bachelor's degree in engineering, he is a die hard fan of tennis and sports in general. He is an ardent follower of Rafael Nadal and is inspired by his never-say-die attitude.
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Edited by:

Tony Thomas