Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic met for the first time at Roland Garros 2006, and Djokovic retired after the second set. Fifteen years later, two rivals shared the court again in Paris, fighting in the semi-final and embracing their 58th Tournament match.
Both players competed at a high level in the first five rounds to stage the highly anticipated semi-final clash, eight months after competing for the title in Paris. Novak was powerless in that one, experiencing his worst loss in Major's finals and looking good to battle Rafa.
Nadal defeated Djokovic in three sets in the final in Rome a few weeks earlier, but he knew it would be a much more challenging task. Speaking of the world no. 1, Nadal said it would have been better if they met in the title clash, as one of them still has to face another formidable rival two days later in the grand final.
Rafa recalled that he knows Novak very well and that in his duels anything can happen. Leaving his incredible results at Roland Garros in the past, Nadal understood how important the match is for both of them, repeating that it is an open chase and never taking the status of favorites, despite winning 13 Parisian titles.
As we all know, Nadal would suffer his third loss at Roland Garros, losing to Djokovic in four sets after exhausting four hours and 11 minutes to lose the beloved trophy for the first time since 2016.
Uncle Toni comments on Rafael Nadal
The 20-time Grand Slam champion, Rafael Nadal, didn’t compete at the US Open 2021.
The decision was made as the Spaniard is still struggling with his foot injury. Rafael Nadal fans across the world are ecstatic right now as Rafael Nadal’s Uncle, Toni Nadal, said he’s preparing to return to Australian Open 2022.
"Things are going better," Toni Nadal was quoted as saying by Antena 2. "He (Rafael Nadal) is proposed to start in Australia. It will be fine. I am convinced. The idea is to have a great year in 2022. He will put all his efforts into that."
After an unpredictable defeat at French Open 2021, Rafael Nadal withdrew from Wimbledon, Tokyo Olympics as well as US Open. He’s still rehabilitating from his foot ailment. Earlier this month, the Spaniard dropped a heartwarming message for his fans.
During the course of the interview, Toni Nadal also spoke about the 2021 US Open final between Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev. The Serb was one match away from completing the Calendar Slam, but capitulated in stunning fashion and was beaten by the World No.
2 in straight sets. "Undoubtedly the No. 2 in the world can beat him (Djokovic)," Toni Nadal said. "Although he is a great player, he is also under pressure and in the final match the pressure could have beaten him."