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Rafael Nadal beat Novak Djokovic in 4 sets and took part in the semi-finals

Published on : 01/06/2022 – 01:18

Rafael Nadal, under threat of foot pain, was exceptional in eliminating world No.1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals of Roland-Garros 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7 -6 (7/4), overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday.

The 59th episode held in suspense until past one o’clock in the morning: after yet another memorable duel, Rafael Nadal defied logic against Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals of Roland-Garros on Tuesday evening. For a place in the final, he will face the world No.3 Alexander Zverev, who beat the Spanish phenomenon Carlos Alcaraz.

Even with a less than ideal preparation, Nadal, as at home on Parisian clay where he triumphed thirteen times, had promised to “ try with all one’s might “. He clung to his profession of faith until the night of Tuesday to Wednesday to bite the dust at the world No.1 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7/4) in 4h12 min. Not without having discarded two fifth set balls.

A fatigue fracture to a rib two months before Roland-Garros? A season on ocher launched later than ever? A new blow ten days from the Parisian Grand Slam when his left foot, eaten away by an illness he describes as “chronic and incurable” since he was 18, betrayed him once again? A fight of almost four and a half hours in five rounds 48 hours before attacking Djokovic? Nothing, ever, is impossible for the Mallorcan champion with a thousand injuries and a thousand and one rebirths, who will celebrate his 36th birthday on Friday.

This is the first match between two players at the head of a collection of at least 20 Grand Slam trophies (21 for Nadal, 20 for Djokovic). The first also between two players who have accumulated over their exceptional careers more than 1000 victories on the circuit and more than 300 in Grand Slam.

For a time, for almost an hour and a half, Nadal, the whole stadium or almost won over to his cause, went it alone: ​​until leading 6-2, 3-0 double break, he recited his tennis as in a dream. Djokovic, of course, recovered, and a 6-1 inflicted on “Rafa” later, the two players were level one set everywhere.

Still fiercely determined despite the passage of time, the Spaniard returned to battle as if nothing had happened. After three hours of play, it was he who took the lead, two sets to one. But even after midnight, even after three hours of play, even back to the wall, “Nole” did not give up. At 5 games to 4, he went twice to a point of a fifth inning. In vain.

Because no one has a head as hard as the Mallorcan left-hander, finally victorious in the decisive game.

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