The Quarterfinal of the 2022 French Open was expected to be a thriller with two modern greats of the game locking horns at Court Philippe Chatrier. Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic showed the world why these two are considered the best in business. The World No.1 and World No.5 battled out for four hours and twelve minutes to get Nadal as the eventual winner.
Nadal won the game in four sets to show Djokovic the exit door. The 13-time Roland Garros champion won the pair’s 59th career meeting 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7/4) after a four-hour-and-12-minute quarter-final and reached his 15th French Open semi-final where he will face third seed Alexander Zverev on Friday.
Rafael Nadal smashed 57 winners in a trademark performance to delight the crowd and avenge his semi-final loss to the same opponent 12 months ago. Nadal broke in a bruising 10-minute opening game before saving two break points to open a 3-1 lead. The Spaniard kept the lead and claimed the first set 6-2.
Djokovic did make a comeback as the Serbian overturned a double-break deficit to take an 88-minute second set 6-4. But he made too many unforced errors that cost him the match. World No.1 lost the third set 2-6. He had a chance to force a decider but missed two set points when serving for the fourth.
Watch the highlight of the match here:
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 1, 2022
Playing against him is always an amazing challenge: Rafael Nadal
Coming into the game Nadal was a slight underdog having been taken to five sets in the previous round by Felix Auger-Aliassime. The Spaniard had also hinted that it could be his last appearance in Paris due to a persistent foot injury. But World No.5 overcame all obstacles to pin down Djokovic and prove why he is called ‘King of Clay’.
Nadal was overwhelmed with the win over Djokovic and said it’s always great playing against the Serbian. “I’m very emotional. For me it’s incredible to play here,” said Nadal. “Playing against him is always an amazing challenge… To win against Novak, there is only one way, to play your best from the first point until the last,” he added.