Like many other times, Novak Djokovic had two rivals who challenged him in the Roland Garros quarterfinals. Novak lost to Rafael Nadal and the public, who supported the Spaniard in the fourth set and led him to a comeback and victory.
The spectators on Court Philippe-Chatrier were mostly neutral as the two legends clashed in the first three sets, rooting for both rivals in their titanic battle. Novak gave his best to prolong the match, opening a 5-2 gap in the fourth set and creating two set points in the ninth game.
Carried away by the frenzied cheering in the stands, Rafa found one more gear to save them, come back from the break and seal the deal in the tie break to emerge on top and get the job done in four sets. After the match, Djokovic made no gesture towards the crowd, picking up the racket from him and leaving Philippe-Chatrier very disappointed.
Rafa outscored Novak 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6, coming out better in three of the four sets and producing a masterful comeback in the fourth to come out on top. Nadal needed four hours and 12 minutes to beat his most formidable opponent, and they could have reached five hours if Djokovic had converted one of his two set points at 5-3 in the fourth.
Rafa was determined to avenge last year's loss in Paris, mastering his punches well and carrying Novak across the baseline. Nadal converted 43% of the return points and grabbed seven breaks to seal the four-set deal and advance to the semi-finals.
Goran Ivanisevic comments on Djokovic
Goran Ivanisevic recently shared his thoughts on Novak Djokovic's prospects at the 2022 Wimbledon Championships. "He is the absolute favourite at Wimbledon, as is Rafa here," Ivanisevic said.
"Novak now needs to rest well and prepare physically and mentally for Wimbledon - I'm sure he can do it and I think he will win it, I have a good feeling. We need to focus on that now. The key thing for him is to recover mentally.
As I have said in the past, Novak is a genius with a different mindset than most of us. Even though he needs less time than most to come back and to figure some things out, he still needs to do it. He has overcome tough losses in the past, and I am completely certain that he will be ready for Wimbledon," he said.