“Sitting on the Edge of My Chair”: Ana Ivanovic on Monumental Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal Battle at French Open 2021 Semifinals

Published 06/14/2021, 8:10 AM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 11, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic shakes hands with Spain’s Rafael Nadal after winning their semi final match REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes


Although the French Open 2021 is over, the memories of the ultimate and penultimate matches still remain fresh. The semifinal played on Friday between two of the fiercest competitors, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, lasted for over four hours and it was a physical and mental battle. Recently, former World No. 1 and Grand Slam winner Ana Ivanovic reflected on the match.

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The Serbian spoke about the stakes involved in the semifinal match between the two living legends, Nadal and Djokovic. She provided analysis and revealed that the match would have an influence on the debate of the greatest of all time. 

PERTH, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 02: Ana Ivanovic and Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrate winning the mixed doubles match against Ashleigh Barty and Bernard Tomic of Australia during day five of the Hopman Cup at Perth Arena on January 2, 2013 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

The 33-year-old former player stated, “It was amazing, amazing tennis and I love to watch both of them play. Novak was so aggressive and some of the rallies were getting me sitting on the edge of my chair and it was really beautiful to see how competitive they both are. Absolutely it was [influential in the GOAT debate].”

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Ana Ivanovic remembers Novak Djokovic’s past challenges

During the tournament, Novak Djokovic recovered after being two sets down on a couple of occasions. However, Ana indicated that the recently crowned French Open champion is not new to these situations and has overcome these hurdles against Federer at the US Open and Wimbledon Championships in the past. 

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Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 11, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic with Spain’s Rafael Nadal before their semi final match REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

The 2008 French Open champion further added, “Novak has had many situations like this in the past, even at the US Open a few times needing match points against Federer. I’ve seen it happen in Wimbledon I think. So these kinds of moments in these kinds of matches change the course and write the history.”

Djokovic won the French Open 2021 yesterday and has cemented his place further amongst the greatest of players. At the beginning of the season, he won the Australian Open for a record ninth time. With the way he is playing at the Grand Slam events, he looks certain to extend his streak. 

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Rohan Kollare

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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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