Rafael Nadal won the super match against Novak Djokovic and reached the semifinals at Roland Garros. The Spanish champion started in the best possible way and surprised his rival during the first hour and a half of play. Down by a set and two breaks, Djokovic found a way to fight back and miraculously won the second set.
However, Nadal also took control of the rallies in the third set and overcame the Serb for the second 6-2 of the day. In the fourth set, however, it was Djokovic who doubled Nadal's defenses and took the break lead. A break advantage that the Mallorcan recovered in the most important moment of the match by annulling two set points.
Djokovic did not appear in his best physical condition in the end and allowed Nadal to dominate the tie-break that finally closed the accounts. "To beat this Nadal, Djokovic would have had to play at 150 percent of his ability.
Even 100% would not have been enough," Yevgeny Kafelnikov explained to Sportklub. "From the first point, Nadal's body language showed that it would be difficult for Novak to beat him. I honestly don't know why everyone thought tonight's match was for Djokovic.
It seemed the opposite to me. I think the game conditions helped Nadal. Novak still landed some winners, to move Nadal, but he couldn't exploit his full potential in these conditions."
Jimmy Arias reflects on Nole Djokovic
Former ATP player Jimmy Arias is of the opinion that Novak Djokovic is starting to crack under the pressure of making history.
"I think Novak [Djokovic] is cracking a little bit. It started with the US Open last year, I know he made the finals, but that whole tournament he was cracking. It shows how much he is thinking about history," Arias said.
"The only reason he was cracking was because he was thinking of the Calendar Grand Slam and if you remember that tournament, he was losing the first set every match." During the interview, Jimmy Arias further analyzed the quarterfinal encounter between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
"I didn't think Rafael Nadal would right the ship after the second set [against Novak Djokovic]. Novak won Rome and it was like Djokovic is Djokovic again and [has put] all that controversy behind and is ready to be dominating again after that," Arias said.
"We were a little worried about Nadal because of the foot problem, but as soon as I saw a match or two of Nadal, I thought, 'Okay, wow'"