Friday, June 07, 2013

2013 FRENCH OPEN: Djokovic Loses 5th Set 9-7 to Nadal

Wow. The men's semifinal showdown between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic was basically everything we expected, with Nadal coming down from a break down in the final set before prevailing 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7(3), 9-7. Despite giving every advantage to Nadal, the conditions (a hot, summer day), losing the 1st set, serving second in the final set, Djokovic was in a winning position at 4-2, 30-all in the 5th set when he raced up to the net to tap a floating ball into the open court but couldn't stop himself from touching the net before the ball bounced twice (well out of range of Nadal). That gave Nadal a break point and though Djokovic saved that one (and the next one)eventually he succumbed and Nadal evened the match out to 4-all. Things remained on serve until 7-all in the 5th. Then Nadal held easily and Djokovic hit a number of uncharacteristic errors on his service game, went down 0-40 and lost the game, set and match.

Nadal improves to 20-15 against Djokovic in their career, 1-1 in 5th set matches in majors and will be the prohibitive favorite to win his 59th match at Roland Garros and 8th French Open crown on Sunday (against the winner of the Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - David Ferrer semifinal).

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