Novak Djokovic was on board first, winning his opening service game to love, that included some delicate touches at net. A forehand error from Rafa Nadal handed Novak two break points, the Serb was quick to take the opportunity and was 2-0 up already. He won 12 of the first 15 points and looked in total control. At 0-3 (15-40), both engaged in one of the rallies of the week, which Djokovic won to go 4-0 up. Nadal broke back to make it 1-4 but was still a break behind. The seventh game of the first set was a masterpiece, with Novak saving 3 break points but couldn’t handle his nerves on the 4th one. He smashed the ball in the net that gave Nadal the game, and the set was back on serve. The momentum had clearly shifted with Nadal winning 9 of the last 13 points. The tenth game lasted 12min, with Nadal saving three set points. It was five all, and the tone for this blockbuster clash was perfectly set.
It took Djokovic six set points to take the set 7-5 in an hour and seven minutes. It was already turning into a classic with some breathtaking rallies. The second set went on with no breaks of serve, both Nadal and Novak serving well. The eighth game turned the set in Novak’s favor as Nadal missed his forehand down the line to hand the Serb a crucial break. It took Djokovic another four set points to wrap the set 6-3 . For the first time ever, Rafael Nadal was down two sets to love at Roland Garros.
Djokovic hit the pedal, and with a bit of luck from the tape went double break up. 3-0 to the Serb, surely no way back for Rafa from this point.
After about two and a half hours Nadal was serving to stay in his favorite slam at 1-5. It all came to end with a double fault, the king of clay was dethroned 5-7 3-6 1-6 by the irresistible Novak Djokovic. The impossible had happened.