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HomeSportsRafael Nadal defeated Djokovic in huge clash to enter French Open semifinals

Rafael Nadal defeated Djokovic in huge clash to enter French Open semifinals

As the clay court king stayed on course for a record-extending men’s 22nd Grand Slam title by defeating arch-rival Novak Djokovic 6-2 4-6 6-2 7-6(4) in a vintage French Open quarter-final clash yesterday, talks of an end to Rafael Nadal’s reign proved inopportune once again. The 13-time Roland Garros champion, beaten by the world number one in the semi-finals here last year, visited Paris on the back of two injuries that had obstructed his groundwork.

The Spaniard, who has only lost 3 times at the French Open since his maiden campaign in 2005, knows every inch of the huge court Philippe Chatrier and Djokovic paid for the reminder, having already survived a five-set thriller against Felix Auger Aliassime in the previous round. On the day teenager Carlos Alcaraz, who has been widely tipped as his successor, was knocked out, Rafael Nadal threw the punches and had defending champion Djokovic on the ropes in a full-throttle beginning.

In spite of being a breakdown in the 4th, Djokovic again fought in an 88-minute second set but the 35-year-old Nadal backed by a partisan crowd found the resources to end it in 4 sets and arranged a meeting with German third seed Alexander Zverev for a place in Sunday’s final. Earlier, Zverev beat Alcaraz in 4 sets. Soon after the 4-hour-12-minute tournament, Rafael Nadal said, “It’s a very emotional moment for me. Thank you everyone. It’s unbelievable, the support I get from you. Everyone knows how important it is for me to play here. It’s the most important tournament of my career.”

Rafael just managed to hold for 4-4 but cracked 0n serve at 5-4 as Djokovic levelled the match. However, the Mallorcan commenced the third set in the same trend as the first, racing to a 4-1 lead and terminating it up on yet another voluntary delusion.

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