Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will play their 8th match at the French Open. The story looks back to 2006, to the quarter-finals: that was their first ever challenge, to the cornerstone of a great rivalry. Of the seven previous matches, Rafa only lost in the 2015 quarter-finals, while defeating Serb in the 2012 and 2014 finals.
They played amazing mayches, among the most intense in the history of tennis. Like the final of the Australian Open 2012. An unforgettable match, perhaps the hardest from a physical point of view for Nole. Djokovic won for the seventh consecutive time against Nadal after a battle lasting 5 hours and 53 minutes, the longest match in the Australian Open and the longest final in Grand Slam history.
Nole recovered from a 4-2 30-15 disadvantage and Nadal serve, in the fifth set. A mental and physical battle against the greatest fighter in tennis history. Final score: Djokovic won 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7 (5) 7-5. The 2018 Wimbledon semi-final is also an unforgettable match.
In a match of 5 hours and 17 minutes, spread over two days, Djokovic returned as the great champion that everyone appreciated after two years of blackout. After the satisfaction given by Roland Garros 2016, the Serbian experienced a long 2017 nightmare crisis.
Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic: the best 3 matches ever!
After the sensational defeat against Marco Cecchinato in Paris, Nole did the impossible at Wimbledon in the second longest semifinal in Wimbledon history, second only to the match between Kevin Anderson and John Isner, held that same day.
The final against the South African, exhausted by the fatigue of the match with Isner, was the third success on the lawns of the All England Club for the Serbian, who that year also won the US Open and returned to world no.1.
Final result 6-4 3-6 7-6 (9) 3-6 10-8. But the most incredible match between Djokovic and Nadal will always remain the semifinal of Roland Garros 2013, won by the Spaniard 6-4 3-6 6-1 6-7 (3) 9-7. Djokovic looked unbeatable.
Having just defeated Rafa in Monte Carlo, the Serbian could also aspire to victory in Paris, with Nadal at risk of defeat for the first time after the relentless match he lost to Robin Soderling in 2009. In an almost desperate scoring situation, with Djokovic ahead 4-3 40-40 and service in the fifth set, the Serbian champion made a sensational invasion of the field to the net on an almost ineffective shot from Nadal.
An easy high forehand volley thus becomes the watershed of the match and the tournament, with Rafa, never really dead, resurrected and winning.