TENNIS: Rafael Nadal beat rival Novak Djokovic to reach French Open semi-final

Oladimeji Adeoye

Oladimeji Adeoye

Rafael Nadal, 35, defeated long time rival Novak Djokovic to reach the semi-final of the French Open last night. Nadal showed resilience yesterday, going for a 14th title, and fought off resistance from defending champion Djokovic to win 6-2 4-6 6-2 7-6 (7-4) at Roland Garros. The Spaniard faces third seed Alexander Zverev on Friday.

Rafael Nadal on 18 August 2008 was ranked world number one, he’s currently ranked 5 in the world as of 16 May 2022. Nadal has won the Australian Open twice, winning the latter this year. He has won four Wimbledon and two US Opens.

Rafael Nadal said:

“To win against Novak there is only one way: to play your best from the first point to the last,”

“This is one of those magic nights for me.”

Victory for fifth seed Nadal avenged his semi-final defeat by Djokovic last year and extended his record on the Roland Garros clay to 110 wins in 113 matches.

The rivalry between the pair is the most enduring in men’s tennis, with Nadal winning their 59th meeting and seeing him narrow the gap to 30-29 in the head-to-head.

Djokovic said:

“Nadal showed why he is a great champion and stayed mentally tough. No doubt he deserves it.

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