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Saturday, June 12, 2021

French Open 2021 Semi-Final Highlights: Djokovic overcomes Nadal in four sets

French Open 2021 Semi-Final Highlights: Novak Djokovic knocked out defending champion Rafael Nadal 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-2 to set up a summit clash against Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: June 12, 2021 9:20:56 am
rgFrench Open 2021, Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic Highlights.

French Open 2021 Semi-Final Highlights: Novak Djokovic achieved the unthinkable on Friday when he defeated Rafael Nadal 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-2 after coming back from a set down in the French Open semi-final at the Philippe Chatrier court in Paris.

Although the 13-time Grand Slam winner Nadal claimed the first set, Djokovic gathered some vital momentum towards the end. The top seed turned things around with two breaks in the second set and stamped his authority with his tiebreak win in the third set. Facing a weary Nadal in the fourth, Djokovic raced to the win with four straight games to seal a spot in the Roland Garros final against Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3 in the other last four clash earlier, on Sunday.

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French Open 2021, Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic Highlights:

02:52 (IST)12 Jun 2021
Nadal* 6-3, 3-6, (4)6-7, 2-6 Djokovic

Nadal serves to save the match but he begins with a nervy double fault. With the momentum and all the breaks on his side, Djokovic wins the second point too. Nadal misses a return and it's 40-0. And a fault, and Djokovic does the unthinkable! He ousts Nadal after coming back from a set down on his own backyard. The top seed will now face Tsitsipas in the final on Sunday.

02:42 (IST)12 Jun 2021
Nadal* 6-3, 3-6, (4)6-7, 2-4 Djokovic
02:33 (IST)12 Jun 2021
Nadal* 6-3, 3-6, (4)6-7, 2-2 Djokovic

Nadal concedes the first point on his serve but he makes up for it with a powerful forehand return. 15-15. But Djokovic is determined to win it in four sets, and makes it 40-15 after a double fault by Nadal. He cruises to his first break in the fourth set!

02:19 (IST)12 Jun 2021
Nadal 6-3, 3-6, (4)6-7, 1-0 Djokovic*

Nadal is down by two sets and it's all in Djokovic's hands now. For the timebeing, the top seed starts the fourth set with his serve winning the first two points. But Nadal bounces back with three straight points. 30-40. And he breaks with a brilliant forehand!

02:10 (IST)12 Jun 2021
Nadal 6-3, 3-6, (4)6-7 Djokovic

Both Djokovic and Nadal win their serve-points early on. Djokovic charges forward and slices it beyond Nadal to make it 1-2. Nadal then wins the next two points but Djokovic's volley makes it 3-3. The first seed obtains some momentum with a brilliant forehand return and then wins another point off an unforced error. He marches on, hits an ace and then the winner. 7-4. Djokovic goes ahead!

01:58 (IST)12 Jun 2021
Nadal 6-3, 3-6, 6-6 Djokovic*

Djokovic starts his serve well, but he soon finds himself down 15-30. He levels himself with a confident smash and makes it 40-30 afterwards. But Nadal turns the screw, gains an advantage but falters. Djokovic bites back and holds his serve. Tiebreak now!

01:40 (IST)12 Jun 2021
Nadal 6-3, 3-6, 5-5 Djokovic*

Djokovic serves for the third set! He wins the first point after a short-lived net rally. Nadal overhits on a return and that makes it 30-0. But out of nowhere, Nadal bounces back and forces Djokovic to face a break point. And then he breaks it in style! What a match!

01:33 (IST)12 Jun 2021
Nadal* 6-3, 3-6, 4-5 Djokovic

After a break and a hold by Djokovic, Nadal start his serve strongly, hitting an ace to make it 30-0. Djokovic's backhand comes to his rescue to make it 30-15. Nadal finds the line on his return next. He then wraps it on the back of an unforced error by Djokovic.

01:17 (IST)12 Jun 2021
Nadal 6-3, 3-6, 3-3 Djokovic*

Djokovic serves and makes it to 15-15 early on, but the tide gets turned over soon after. Nadal comes up with a brilliant backhand serve return and then a smash onto the Serbian's body. 15-40. But Djokovic bites back... and after a 23-shot rally, it's deuce now! The crowd at the Phillipe Chatrier court is on their feet applauding! But Nadal steals the break with a forehand. Elation for him!

01:06 (IST)12 Jun 2021
Nadal* 6-3, 3-6, 2-3 Djokovic

Nadal is showing signs of fatigue but he still makes it 15-15 after faltering in the first point. But an error-strewn smash and a net fault hands Djokovic two break points. The Spaniard bounces back thanks to a failed drop shot by Djokovic and then a magnificent ace to make it deuce! The first seed gets another break point and he does convert it. Djokovic draws first blood in third set!

00:55 (IST)12 Jun 2021
Nadal* 6-3, 3-6, 2-1 Djokovic

Nadal, by the looks of it, is suffering from a lack of concentration as he gives away cheap points. 15-30. But just when Djokovic was looking to get a second break point, Nadal's forehand return makes it 30-30. Soon, it becomes deuce! Nadal gifts an advantage by hitting a point but he soon makes things level. Despite a scare, the third seed comes through and holds quite confidently.

00:46 (IST)12 Jun 2021
Nadal 6-3, 3-6, 1-1 Djokovic*

After Nadal's statement hold in the first game of the third set, he tries to rattle Djokovic for a first break. He makes it 15-15, but the Serbian has the momentum on his side now. He quickly wraps things up from there and holds to his serve. A very tight affair.

00:32 (IST)12 Jun 2021
Djokovic wins 2nd set

Nadal fights back. Some insane rallies, with both players having pulled up their socks from the first set. Djokovic advancing to the net a lot more. Playing a lot more positively. Misses a relatively easy overhead shot to give Nadal a reprieve. Then it's Nadal's turn to miss a relatively easy return. And oh... Djokovic then plays a double fault. Pressure starting to tell. A long long game as Djokovic seekes to pull alongside Nadal. And he finally does it. Nadal took the first set 6-3, now Djoker takes the 2nd 6-3.

00:19 (IST)12 Jun 2021
Nadal 6-3, 2-5 Djokovic*

Nadal takes the first point but Djokovic makes it 15-15 soon after with a deft drop volley. Coolness personified that. But he soon undoes his effort by overhitting a return and gifting Nadal a point. And yet again! But Djokovic doesn't cave in under the pressure and pulls one with a powerful smash. 30-40. A wayward Nadal backhand and it's deuce! Both players are using every area of the court... and it's advantage to Nadal for a net fault. Djokovic shrugs off a third break point and makes it deuce again. Next, Nadal makes it deuce again after Djokovic failed to take advantage. In the end, Djokovic holds. A massive, massive game!

00:08 (IST)12 Jun 2021
Nadal* 6-3, 2-4 Djokovic

A strong backhand return by Djokovic takes the time away from Nadal and it's 0-15 early on. The top-seed races to 0-30 but Nadal pounces back. Afterwards, a rally filled with serve-and-volley backhands makes it 30-40. Nadal engages in another mighty rally with his opposition but his forehand falters... and out! Djokovic breaks again and he's in a comfortable position now in the second set.

23:57 (IST)11 Jun 2021
Nadal* 6-3, 2-2 Djokovic

After Nadal bit back with a break of his own in the previous game, Djokovic gets a cheap point off a net return. 0-15. Nadal pulls one point back. Both the players exchange few punches. 40-30. But Nadal comes through and levels it after an unforced error.

23:48 (IST)11 Jun 2021
Nadal* 6-3, 0-2 Djokovic

Nadal starts his serve with a fault and then drops the first point upon hitting the net after a rally. Djokovic is sticking to the baseline here, forcing Nadal on his backhand much too often. Two more backhands, two outs. 0-40. And he breaks first in the second set! 

23:44 (IST)11 Jun 2021
Nadal 6-3, 0-1 Djokovic*

After losing the first set, Djokovic starts brightly by quickly getting the first point. A late winner and an unforced error by Nadal later, it's 40-0. The Serbian doesn't falter from there and wraps up the first game of the second set within two minutes. Holds to love.

23:39 (IST)11 Jun 2021
Nadal wins first set 6-3

Djokovic serves to narrow the gap further now. He has pulled himself back from the dead, can he pull back even more now? Yes, he can! A huge roar goes up from the Serbian section of the crowd as Djokovic holds serve. Nadal serving at 5-3 now in what has become a crucial service game. He goes 40-0 up but then Djokovic pulls off a Houdini act to get a point back. Can he stretch Nadal further? Nadal takes the opening set 6-3 in just under an hour.

23:26 (IST)11 Jun 2021
Djokovic breaks for first time: Nadal leads 5-2

Djokovic is finally on the scoreboard. He avoids the bagel. The first set reads 5-1 in Nadal's favour now. And it's the Spaniard who serves for the set now. And Djokovic mounts his strongest resistance of the day so far in the game... takes it to deuce. But Nadal is on fire today! If Djokovic can play a perfect overhead shot, Nadal can do him one better! Djokovic saves 2 set points. And he breaks! Djokovic breaks for the first time today.

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