Turning back the clock at the Italian Open Semifinal, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic showcased why their rivalry is one of the best in Tennis. Djokovic, after a very long time showcased confidence and intent. Nadal showcased no signs of slowing down. Both were hitting the ball hard, playing long rallies without any troubles.
But as is the case of every match, one won while the other lost. Rafael Nadal reigned supreme, winning over Novak Djokovic 7-6,6-3. Speaking post the match, Djokovic admitted he there was not much between the two players. He spoke of how Nadal was the best clay court player in the sport.
‘I did feel like playing at home, really‘, Djokovic said.
‘And I can only thank them for that support and love they gave me. Rafa was just better in important moments. He just managed to play right shots. And he deserved to win. He was the better player. I don’t think that there was too much of a difference, which is great for me, great news for me.
Because Rafa is, of course, the best player ever to play tennis on clay courts. But I thought the level of my tennis was very high. I was unfortunate, maybe, in the tiebreak. Couple of points could have gone different way. Winning tiebreak for him was a great wind to the back.
He managed to break me early in the second set, and then he held his serve all the way through. I can only take positives from this week.’
‘I was really hoping I could go toe to toe with Nadal, because I was really playing well last couple days.
And I just wanted to start off the match well, which I did. I lost the break, but I managed to come back. And, yeah, very long first set, very competitive. Some points were fantastic. The crowd was into it. And I miss this feeling, you know.
I miss it, I have to admit. I haven’t had that in a while. So, you know, I’m very grateful.’