Tennis being a contact-less sport, rarely the audience witnesses players hurting their opponents. Especially amongst the ambassadors of the sport, such scenes do not really take place on professional tennis courts. However, the uncommon episode of tennis took place at Roger Cup 2013, in Montreal. And it was between the liege lords of the sport Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
In the semifinal match, the two men had exchanged the first two sets, and were rallying hard in deciding set. The epic match between the duo was accompanied by a hotshot, wherein the Spaniard warrior smacked the ball on Novak’s face with his powerful backhand.
It was 6-4, 3-6, 2-2(30*-30) with Rafa on serve. Their warrior-like tennis from the baseline was putting up the show. The Spaniard produced a slice-backhand drop shot on Novak’s court, the Serb hastily went on to the net and was successful in returning it.
But the next reply from the Mallorcan muscleman Rafa was deadly. As he happened to thump the ball on his rival’s face. Following that, Nadal apologized for his unintentional move and was a bit remorseful for the same. Also, the top-seed Djokovic was not pleased with that attack.
Rafa went on to seal the exciting match 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (2). Post his defeat, Novak reflected on the ambiance that was created on the Canadian court when the two wizards were facing off each other.
“Whenever we play against each other, it’s always a thrilling match for the crowd to see. We are both competing at a high level. We both want to win these matches,” he said.
Till date, the ‘Djodal’ or ‘Rafole’ pair have locked horns 55 times in their careers, with Novak leading their head-to-head record by three matches. The pair have bestowed the sport of tennis and its fans with numerous riveting matches. And for years to come, there is a minimal possibility of having a duo like them!