Novak Djokovic Knocks Out Stefanos Tsitsipas in Five-Set Thriller to Set Up Face-Off against Rafael Nadal at French Open 2020 Finals

Published 10/09/2020, 4:35 PM EDT
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during his semi final match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes


It was the night of an electrifying semi-final at the French Open 2020 between Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas. In an exciting encounter, it was Djokovic who kept his calm and just survived an upset. He ultimately defeated the World No.6 Tsitsipas winning 6-3, 6-2, 5-7, 4-6, 6-1.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Before this, Djokovic and Tsitsipas met on five occasions with Djokovic maintaining the lead 3-2. He extended it further at 4-2 now. It was the Greek player who showed his intensity right from the start, but Djokovic proved why he is unbeaten so far in 2020.

Set-1: Phenomenal Novak Djokovic

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his semi-final match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Serving first, Djokovic lost three straight points. It was Tsitsipas who gained three break-points largely due to the unforced errors by the World No.1. But, Djokovic made a comeback and won the seven-minute-long first game of the match after the third deuce. Nobody wanted to give it easy, but Djokovic broke in the next game. Serving in the third game, he won four back-to-back points to extend his lead to 3-0.

Then, it was Tsitsipas who won his first game with the help of a beautiful drop to narrow the margin to 3-1. However, the 22-year-old was committing too many unforced errors which allowed Djokovic to surge ahead and take a 4-1 lead.

Serving in the sixth game, it was a question of now or never for Tsitsipas. He did not disappoint and won the game with a forehand winner. The subsequent game saw an impressive rally where Tsitsipas was a little unfortunate. He went in for a drop shot, went back for a return, and advanced again only to hit the ball outside. He took the game to deuce with an amazing drop yet again. But Djokovic was simply phenomenal and held on to maintain a three-game lead.

Tsitsipas won the next game to reduce the deficit. Djokovic was serving for the set this time, and he won the first point in style with a delicate drop shot. He won the next two points, thereby gaining three set points. Tsitsipas survived all of them. However, after the deuce, the Serbian struck back hard and won the set on his fourth set-point.

Set-2: The same story continued

Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas reacts during his semi-final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Serving in the first game of the set, Tsitsipas won the first point. He won the four points to establish a 1-0 lead over Djokovic at the end of the first game. The Greek was regaining his momentum. The next game lasted for eight minutes and saw three deuces. But, Djokovic leveled the scoreline at 1-1.

Tsitsipas struck a beautiful forehand winner in the third game to leave Djokovic clueless. He won the game with a strong winner and now again was leading 2-1. The Greek player began the next game with a beautiful volley, but his problem at the net continued. It was the flexible Djokovic who was dominating. He equalized again, and the scoreline was 2-2.

Tsitsipas was still making the same errors. Djokovic broke for the first time in the fifth game and was leading for the first time in the set 3-2. The Serbian won the next game on his serve and extended his lead 4-2. The World No.6 was in a good position in the seventh game. He even won the advantage after the first deuce, but repeated his error and lost the game. It was Djokovic who broke yet again to lead 5-2. The World No.1 did not waste any time and won the set 6-2.

Set-3: Resurgence of Stefanos Tsitsipas

Tsitsipas began the set in style by winning both the first point and the first game; but, the happiness was short-lived. Despite earning a break-point almost after 90 mins, he could not capitalize on it. Meanwhile, Djokovic leveled the scoreline at 1-1. Tsitsipas hit a wonderful running volley in the third game to take the lead once again. It was 2-1 with the Greek player leading at this moment.

Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in action during his semi-final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Djokovic equalized again in the very next game. Tsitsipas really looked frustrated at this point as he was yet to break serve. He was doing some weird actions trying to punish himself for all those unforced errors.

Though what was different here was that he was taking his time. It definitely helped the youngster to lead once again at 3-2. But, Djokovic was hot on his trail. He began the next game with a powerful ace, which helped him level the scoreline again at 3-3. The Greek player won the next game, taking it to 4-3. For the first time so far, he won 4 games in a set.

Serving in the eighth game, Djokovic started with a delicate drop-probably the best in the match so far. He won the next three points to equalize the scoreline at 4-4.

Djokovic broke in the next game, taking the lead for the first time in the set. He was just a game away to face Rafael Nadal in the finals of Roland Garros 2020. Serving for the match, he made some unforced errors giving Tsitsipas a break-point. But he soon took the game to deuce. He even earned three match-points but could not capitalize either of them. It was Tsitsipas who broke at this moment for the very first time to tie the set 5-5.

The Greek won the next game and was one game away to win his first set. He won the next game on his second break-point, winning the 63-minute long set 7-5.

Set-4: The Shift of Momentum

Tsitsipas, having the momentum, won the eight-minute-long first game after the third deuce. It was a complete momentum shift as the Greek player broke for the third consecutive time, extending his lead to 2-0. But, Djokovic broke in the third game to end Tsitsipas’ three-game burst. He won the next game to level the scoreline at 2-2.

Tsitsipas saved three break-points in the next game and was leading again at 3-2. Djokovic equalized it again at 3-3. In the next game, Tsitsipas survived four break-points. Djokovic was not ready to give up and hit an accurate forehand winner to make the scoreline 4-4. But, it was Tsitsipas who saved a break yet again and was just a game away from taking their semi-final the distance. He didn’t take long and won the set 6-4 on his very first set point.

Set-5: Novak Djokovic keeps his calm

Serving first, Tsitsipas got the ideal start and won the game. The Serbian leveled it at 1-1 in the next game. He broke in the third game and won the next one too to take a 3-1 lead.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Djokovic broke again to extend his lead to 4-1. It was becoming tough for Tsitsipas. The 17-time Grand Slam winner was back in action. He was just two games away from his 27th Grand Slam final.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his semi-final match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Tsitsipas was struggling but fighting. Djokovic won the next game, to take his lead to 5-1. He won his second match-point almost after two hours, but could not capitalize this time. It was at the third match-point that he got his entry into the finals of Roland Garros 2020, winning the set 6-1.

Enjoyed reading this article? Download our exclusive app to get 24x7 coverage, latest memes and social media banter. Click here to download.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Anshul Singh

1533 articles

Anshul Singh is a tennis author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing Journalism Honors from Delhi University. Having significant experience with content, Anshul has authored over 500 tennis articles. He has previously worked as a writer and an editor for DU Express, penning riveting articles on sports, politics, and culture.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT