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French Open 2021 LIVE: Nadal vs Djokovic semi-final latest updates from Roland Garros

Nadal: Djokovic is world’s best

It’s as epic as we anticipated, as Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal battle for a place in the French Open 2021 final against Stefanos Tsitsipas, who defeated Alexander Zverev earlier.

This is one of the all-time great rivalries in sport, with Djokovic holding a slight advantage overall, leading 29-28 in the head-to-head.

But it is the Spaniard who holds an overall advantage head-to-head in Grand Slams, 20-18. With the reigning champion at Roland Garros naturally holding a dominant record on the clay in Paris over the Serbian, leading 13-1.

“Let’s face it, it’s the biggest challenge that you can have playing on clay against Nadal on this court in which he has had so much success in his career,” Djokovic remarked, not mixing his words or downplaying the challenge in front of him. “In the final stages of a Grand Slam, it doesn’t get bigger than that.”

The pair have won 38 Grand Slam titles between them, and Djokovic is bidding to become the first player of the Open era to win every Grand Slam at least twice.

While Nadal is looking to extend a ludicrous record of 13 successive titles at Roland Garros, with his staggering record of 105 wins from his 107 career matches. The famous defeats came in 2009, losing to Robin Soderling 2-6 7-6(2) 4-6 6-7(2) in the 4th Round, while Djokovic did get the better of him on the clay in 2015, winning 7-5, 6-3, 6-1, but he would ultimately lose in the final to Stan Wawrinka, though redemption came a year later with the title in 2016.

“We know each other well. Everybody knows that in these kind of matches anything can happen,” Nadal said after sweeping past Argentine 10th seed Diego Schwartzman in the quarter-finals. “The player who is playing better that day is the player that is going to have better chances. That’s it.

“It is going to be an important match for both of us. But is a semi-final, not a final. That’s a big difference. Even the winner of that match needs to keep going and there remains a lot of work to do to try to achieve the final goal here.”

Follow live updates of Djokovic vs Nadal from Roland Garros:

Read more:

Rafael Nadal responds to rare drop of set to reach French Open semi-finals

French Open: How to watch Nadal vs Djokovic semi-final online and on TV today

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic set for ‘great battle’ in French Open semi-final

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Djokovic vs Nadal* 3-6 6-3 5-6 (*denotes last server)

Into the fourth hour of this match. The crowd probably have about 35 minutes left in the stadium before the curfew is enforced. There will be an absolute uproar if the crowd are asked to leave shortly.

Nadal makes a double fault to bring it to 15-15 but then a long rally is won by the Spaniard. Suddenly, Djokovic looks shaken and is gesturing to his corner. He has lost a bit of control here.

But as the pendulum swings one way, it instantaneously pulls back. Djokovic with an outstanding return and a Nadal forehand error brings up break point for the Serb.

Saved by Nadal with a perfect smash from the baseline.

OH MY GOODNESS! Probably the point of the match. Nadal plays a drop shot that hits the net. Djokovic deftly clips it back. Nadal then finds the back of the court, before Djokovic beautifully lobs Nadal and the Spaniard can’t get it back.

Break point again for Djokovic. Nadal with another wonderful forehand. Vintage Rafa.

TWO big serves. Nadal holds. Nadal leads again.

Dylan Terry11 June 2021 21:18

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Djokovic vs Nadal* 3-6 6-3 5-5 (*denotes last server)

Rafa Nadal has superhuman mental strength. Now, on with the match…

Dylan Terry11 June 2021 21:10

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Djokovic* vs Nadal 3-6 6-3 5-5 (*denotes last server)

Djokovic is moving Nadal around the court with such precision. He brings him to the net, forces him to play a cross court drop shot and then just taps it back into the empty side.

Nadal then with another unforced error as he goes for the forehand winner. 30-0.

Novak slams one into the net to give Nadal a glimmer of hope and the Spaniard takes advantage with a brilliant backhand up the line!

30-30 and the tension really building in this stadium. It’s palpable now.

Nadal with a forehand winner! Djokovic couldn’t find the length and the 13-time champion will eat that up all day!

Break point for Rafa and he TAKES IT! Djokovic with the backhand error.

Dylan Terry11 June 2021 21:09

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Djokovic vs Nadal* 3-6 6-3 5-4 (*denotes last server)

Worth noting that if this goes to a fifth set then the thousands in attendance will likely have to vacate as there is a curfew. Wonder how that will go down…

(Getty Images)

Dylan Terry11 June 2021 21:05

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Djokovic vs Nadal* 3-6 6-3 5-4 (*denotes last server)

Better from Nadal. He forces a mistake from Djokovic and follows that up with an ace.

Then Djokovic with a remarkable find as he picks up a desperately low ball and fires a backhand into the corner.

Nadal responds with an excellent forehand of his own and closes out the game with consummate easy really.

But this game coming up now is without question the biggest of the match.

Dylan Terry11 June 2021 21:03

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Djokovic* vs Nadal 3-6 6-3 5-3 (*denotes last server)

Djokovic bossing the baseline rallies almost all of the time now. It constantly feels as if Nadal is merely staying in the point for as long as he can.

The world No1 draws two more errors from Nadal before commits one of his own – only the second unforced error he has made in this third set.

Oh and there’s another! Two in two points and we’re at 30-30.

Nadal with some superb defensive shots while on the back foot and he brings up break point as Novak hits the net. He couldn’t do it yet again, could he?

Djokovic receives a warning from the umpire for slow play just before the break point is…SAVED by Djokovic.

A mesmerising forehand from the seething Djokovic. The umpire has charged him up even more.

An expertly executed backhand from Djokovic is followed up by a long forehand. Deuce again.

Nadal spoons a backhand long and then agonisingly misses a forehand winner by millimeters. Four unforced errors for Djokovic in that game and he gets out of it alive.

Dylan Terry11 June 2021 21:00

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Djokovic vs Nadal* 3-6 6-3 4-3 (*denotes last server)

(Getty Images)

Dylan Terry11 June 2021 20:52

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Djokovic vs Nadal* 3-6 6-3 4-3 (*denotes last server)

It says so much about the resolve of Nadal that it feels as if for the majority of this match he has been on the back foot and yet he is still level. What will it take for Djokovic to move decisively clear?

A crosscourt shot from the baseline beats Nadal once more and another sensational return quickly moves Djokovic into a 0-30 position once more.

Oh and he’s missed a routine forehand! 0-40 so quickly.

And there’s a break to love!

Dylan Terry11 June 2021 20:50

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Djokovic* vs Nadal 3-6 6-3 3-3 (*denotes last server)

Nadal forces Djokovic back and draws the error into the net.

Can he take this break point? YES HE CAN!

Nadal breaks back! He just will not die! We’re level again.

Dylan Terry11 June 2021 20:47

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Djokovic vs Nadal* 3-6 6-3 3-2 (*denotes last server)

Djokovic gets drawn to the net by Nadal but he isn’t phased one bit, smashing a shot across court for 15-15.

Whatever you can do, I can do better. A return FOR THE AGES! Nadal fires in a bullet across court that the crowd barely see. It lands plum on the line. Remarkable.

Oh and then even more remarkable! Djokovic draws Nadal in this time and then plays a lovely lob. Nadal gets there and fires straight at Djokovic, who gets a racket on it but it spins away behind him!

Two break points for Nadal, the first of which he spoons into the net.

OH MY WORD! THERE ARE NO WORDS!

Djokovic quite incredibly stays in the point, scurrying from right to left and back again. At one point he looked to be facing the other way. He still stayed in it and eventually found the forehand winner! On break point!

Another game where we’re going to need a second post…

Dylan Terry11 June 2021 20:46

What do you think?

Written by Techbondhu

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