Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal beat longtime rival and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros early Wednesday to progress to the semifinals at the French Open.
The 59th installment of the storied competition between the two all-time tennis greats was another thriller, with Nadal winning 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(4).
The quarterfinal match, which finished after 1 a.m. local time in Paris, lasted over four hours and was one of the most expected of the competition.
The 35-year-old Spaniard is looking for a record-extending 14th French Open title and furthermore a record-expanding 22nd significant title.
Nadal will confront Alex Zverev of Germany in the semifinals. Zverev, the world No. 3, high level subsequent to outclassing 19-year-old Spaniard and world No. 6 Carlos Alcaraz in four sets on Tuesday.
In their head-to-head matches, more than some other two men in the sport’s professional period, Nadal has beaten Djokovic 29 times, while Djokovic has won 30.
Also, during Nadal’s long celebrated lifetime, he has played 113 matches at Roland Garros and won 110 of them. Djokovic is liable for two of these three losses in Paris.
Be that as it may, might the current year’s at some point’s French Open be Nadal’s last? It seems like the 13-time Roland Garros champion, who is managing a pestering foot injury, doesn’t know.
On Sunday, following his five-set win against Felix Auger-Aliassime in the round of 16, Nadal said, “Two and a half weeks ago, even if I had (positive hopes) after Rome, I didn’t even know if I would be able to be here. So I’m just enjoying the fact that I am here for one more year. And being honest, every match that I play here, I don’t know if it is going to be my last match in Roland Garros in my tennis career.”
Following his four-set win against Djokovic, he told columnists it was “one of these extraordinary evenings” and he was “putting everything” into attempting “to play this tournament with the best conditions possible.”
“The crowd have been amazing since the beginning of the tournament,” Nadal said. “I don’t know. I think probably they know that I’m not going to be here (many) more times.”
Nadal was inquired as to whether there is an extra emotional burden on him realizing that any one match could be his last.
“I don’t know what can happen. I think, as I said before, I’m going to be playing this tournament because we are doing the things to be ready to play this tournament, but I don’t know what’s going to happen after here,” he said.
“I have what I have there in the foot, so if we are not able to find an improvement or a small solution on that, then it’s becoming super difficult for me.”
Nadal said he’s simply partaking in each day at Roland Garros “without thinking much about what can happen in the future” and will “keep fighting to find a solution.”
After the match, Djokovic congratulated Nadal saying he “showed why he’s a great champion. You know, staying there mentally tough and finishing the match the way he did.”
The world No. 1 said, “I gave my best” but “I know I could have played better.”
“I’m proud of fighting and staying till the last shot. As I said, you know, I lost to a better player today … over four hours’ battle, and I have to accept this defeat.”Topics #French Open #French Open semifinals #Novak Djokovic #Rafael Nadal #Tennis superstar