Novak Djokovic delivers verdict after booking Rafael Nadal French Open semi-final showdown

4 mins read

Novak Djokovic has said that  ahead of his French Open semi-final clash with rival Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic cruised through the first two sets of his quarter-final to defeat Matteo Berrettini, taking them 6-3 6-2.

But the Serb struggled to break the Italian in the final set, which went to a tiebreaker. Berrettini won the tiebreaker to set up an enticing semi-final with Nadal at Roland Garros.

Djokovic won the final set 7-5.

“It was very, very difficult until the end,” Djokovic said.

“once again I am very happy about my win and thought I might have finished the match in the third set.

“Matteo had a lot of speed and power.”

It is a repeat of last year’s final which Nadal won 6-0 6-2 7-5 to win a fourth consecutive French Open title.

Nadal is aiming to win a 14th French Open. He lifted his first 16 years ago.

Djokovic has won just once at Roland Garros, defeating Andy Murray in the 2016 final.

He also has just a solitary French Open victory against Nadal in eight attempts, striking a blow to his chances ahead of a potential semi-final.

The 34-year-old has a poor recent record against the Spaniard, losing each of their previous five meetings on the surface.

Nadal is considered one of the best players on the surface but suffered a scare during his quarter-final against Diego Schwartzman.

He went a set up against the Argentine but then lost the second and was 3-0 down in the third.

However, the 35-year-old completed a remarkable comeback to win 6-3 4-6 6-4 6-0.

It was his 105th win in 107 matches at Roland Garros.

“The numbers are just amazing. But I can’t think about that now, honestly. Let’s talk about that when I finish my career,” Nadal said after beaten Schwartzman on Wednesday.

“Now is a moment to be happy. I won an important match today against a tough opponent. I was able to find a way to play my best tennis in the moment that I really needed.”


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