REIGN IS OVER! Novak Djokovic Defeats 13-Time Roland Garros Champion Rafael Nadal at French Open 2021 Semifinals

Published 06/11/2021, 5:28 PM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 11, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during his semi final match against Spain’s Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier


It’s semifinal day in Paris at the French Open 2021, and we have World No. 1 Novak Djokovic take on 13-time champion Rafael Nadal. It was their 58th meeting and it lived up to its expectations. The two gladiators were fierce right from the first minute. In the end, the Serb won 3-6 6-3 7-6 (4) 6-2, which lasted for over four hours.

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Set 1: Rafael Nadal handles nerve to come on top

The match began with Rafael Nadal serving and it took him close to 10 minutes to hold his serve. However, Novak Djokovic was feeling clearly felt the impact of not taking his chances and squandered the next four games soon after.

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Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 11, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal reacts during his semi final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

The Spaniard raced to a 5-0 lead. The Serb put up a fight and took the next three games. In the end, Rafa served for the opening set and won it 6-3. Overall, he won 40 points as compared to Novak’s 31 points. The first set lasted for a little over an hour.

Set 2: Novak Djokovic arrives late to the contest

In the following set, the Belgrade-born player raised his level. Both players have engaged in brutal rallies that from a spectator’s point of view was a treat to witness. Novak had the upper hand as he broke Nadal twice during the set.

He even registered more winners and fewer unforced errors, which helped him win the set 6-3. After 56 minutes into the set, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic sealed the second set.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 11, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during his semi final match against Spain’s Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Set 3: The Serbian machine somehow finds a way

In the third set, both superstars held their opening service games. After that, they broke each other in the next games. The set had reached 5-4 with Novak serving for the set. However, Rafa broke back and the match was in one of its crucial stages.

Towards the latter stages, Djokovic saved a set point and pushed the set into a tiebreaker. He got the minibreak in the first point but Nadal broke right back. On the eighth point, the Spaniard hit an unforced error on a volley. The set was finally clinched when the Serb read the Spaniard’s move and picked the drop shot. After 92 minutes to set was won 7-6 (4).

Set 4: Novak Djokovic is too strong for the Spaniard

In the first game of the set, Nadal got the break and consolidated it, taking a 2-0 lead. In the fourth game, Djokovic broke back to level things up.

The Serbian star upped the ante and broke Rafa for the second time during the set and was sitting comfortably ay 4-2.

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The winner of this match will face Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final on Sunday. All eyes will be on the two supreme athletes to see who comes out on top.

Watch this story: Madrid Open 2009 Final: The Last Time Roger Federer Defeated Rafael Nadal on Clay

Impossible Achieved 👊@DjokerNole becomes the first player in history to defeat Nadal in a Paris semi-final, besting the Spaniard 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-2 to reach the title match.#RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/Cfy4178lSW

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— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 11, 2021

 

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Rohan Kollare

1117 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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