'We have to start talking about the GOAT' – Wilander wowed by Djokovic win over Nadal

Novak Djokovic was at his very, very best as he downed Rafael Nadal, 3-6 6-3 7-6 6-2, during their French Open semi-final in what will go down as an all-time classic, and Eurosport’s Mats Wilander was left seriously impressed.

In what is only the third match Nadal has ever lost at Roland Garros, the 13-time champion was beaten on his favourite court with Djokovic simply unplayable over the four sets.

Both players traded winners with an array of incredible rallies which thrilled the Court Philippe Chatrier crowd and the standard of play simply could not have been higher.

Roland-Garros

‘One of the top three matches in my life’ – Djokovic reacts to epic win over Nadal

7 HOURS AGO

Djokovic and Rafael Nadal put on a masterclass at Roland Garros as they met for the second consecutive year – but this time the Serb came out on top after four hours and 11 minutes, and Wilander was wowed.

‘Where did that come from?’ – Djokovic laughs at Nadal brilliance with mad shot

“I haven’t [seen a better clay court match],” Wilander told Eurosport. “It seemed like the courts were playing really fast and they had so little time and both players had to anticipate when the other player hit. Novak, that’s as aggressive as I have seen him be on a clay court especially at Roland-Garros.

“Novak says this is the greatest match he’s played against Rafa at Roland-Garros and of course he’s beaten him once before. But it gets to the point where you can’t overlook these numbers.

“Obviously he has got Stefanos Tsitsipas in the finals and he will be liking what he saw in terms of the hours Novak had to spend.

Novak could be on 19 after this and there could be three guys on 20 after Wimbledon. We have to start talking about the GOAT.

Highlights: Djokovic overcomes Nadal in classic battle in Paris

Mischa Zverev told Eurosport: “It was incredible and hard to describe because you’ve seen them play well before and every time they do it again you think it’s impossible but they still produce the quality that is from another planet.

“The third set had all the up and downs. At times it was like a computer game because no matter where they hit the ball, A – it’s landing in, and B the guy is already there and it’s impossible to hit winners, they don’t make any unforced errors and still the [other player] still finds a winner. It’s just impossible how they were playing.

“It could have gone the other way like five times on five different occasions. But again, you barely saw any unforced errors. Everyone was going for really tough shots and they were making them so you can’t say someone did something wrong, it was just incredible tennis. Novak was just too good towards the end.”

After the match, Djokovic said it was a “very special” match and in the top three in his career after overcoming the Spaniard.

“Definitely the best atmosphere, the best match that I’ve played on centre court at Roland-Garros in my career against my biggest rival,” Djokovic told Eurosport.

The energy of the place was electric from the first point, for both players there was a lot of support. It was one of these matches you can remember forever, definitely one of the top three matches in my life.

Watch the moment Djokovic beats Nadal to reach final at Roland Garros

“I’m obviously overjoyed right now, very happy, very satisfied with how I played especially in the crucial moments. Beating Rafa at Roland-Garros: we all know how difficult of a task that is so of course, it makes it even bigger tonight.

“The conditions at night and during the day are played differently. The balls are bouncing less at night and I felt there was too much clay around the baseline at the beginning and maybe it was because it was a little bit more humid and heavy so that created a different environment as a player. But I managed to find my groove. I didn’t start well – I was 0-5 down, but I still felt I was hitting the ball well and had a good chance.”

Djokovic lost to the 13-time champion in Paris last year and the pair played some absurdly good shots during their huge latest clash – so much so, Andy Murray was among the stars lauding the match.

“You cannot play better clay court tennis than this,” Murray said. “It’s perfect.”

Andy Roddick added: “To this point, it’s one of the best matches I’ve ever seen.”

Remarkably, Djokovic lost the first five games of the match as Nadal roared into a one-set lead, but the top seed found quite staggering levels to beat the King of Clay on Chatrier – surely one of the toughest tasks in sports.

An unusual and amazing shot came early on with Nadal attempting to save three break points on his own serve in the second game of the second set.

While Djokovic would go on to break serve in response to the Spaniard winning the opening set 6-3, the 13-time champion at Roland Garros saved this particular break point with a truly sublime effort.

‘How on earth?!’ – Djokovic wins incredible rally then whips up crowd

“It has to be that good at the moment!” exclaimed Eurosport’s Simon Reed on commentary as Nadal left Djokovic laughing with a drop shot played while running backwards and to the side in a desperate reaction.

Djokovic, 34, has won the French Open once, in 2016, compared to Nadal’s 13 titles at Roland Garros but both men are in the hunt to end their careers with the most Grand Slam titles to their names.

‘Lights out play!’ – Nadal with ‘something special’ against Djokovic

Djokovic will now take on Stefanos Tsitsipas, who earlier reached his first Grand Slam final – and made history by becoming Greece’s first to do so too.

The fifth seed showed all his class and supreme form as he battled past Alexander Zverev, 6-3 6-3 4-6 4-6 6-3 in their semi-final on Friday afternoon.

The Greek star, who was playing in his third successive Grand Slam semi-final, had to hold his nerve in a dramatic deciding set and was then left “very emotional” in his on-court interview.

– – –

Watch all the action from the 2021 French Open live on Eurosport, eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app with 13-time champion Nadal eyeing a remarkable 14th title and two surprise names in the women’s final in Paris.

Roland-Garros

Djokovic downs Nadal in all-time classic semi-final in Paris

8 HOURS AGO

'One of the top three matches in my life' – Djokovic reacts to epic win over Nadal

Novak Djokovic was at his very, very best as he downed Rafael Nadal, 3-6 6-3 7-6 6-2, during their French Open semi-final in what will go down as an all-time classic and he ranked it in his top three matches ever.

In what is only the third match Nadal has ever lost at Roland Garros, the 13-time champion was beaten on his favourite court with Djokovic simply unplayable over the four sets.

Both players traded winners with an array of incredible rallies which thrilled the Court Philippe Chatrier crowd and the standard of play simply could not have been higher.

Roland-Garros

‘We have to start talking about the GOAT’ – Wilander wowed by Djokovic win over Nadal

7 HOURS AGO

Djokovic and Rafael Nadal put on a masterclass at Roland Garros as they met for the second consecutive year – but this time the Serb came out on top after four hours and 11 minutes.

After the match, Djokovic said it was a “very special” match and in the top three in his career after overcoming the Spaniard.

‘Where did that come from?’ – Djokovic laughs at Nadal brilliance with mad shot

“Definitely the best atmosphere, the best match that I’ve played on centre court at Roland-Garros in my career against my biggest rival,” Djokovic told Eurosport.

The energy of the place was electric from the first point, for both players there was a lot of support. It was one of these matches you can remember forever, definitely one of the top three matches in my life.

“I’m obviously overjoyed right now, very happy, very satisfied with how I played especially in the crucial moments. Beating Rafa at Roland-Garros: we all know how difficult of a task that is so of course, it makes it even bigger tonight.

“The conditions at night and during the day are played differently. The balls are bouncing less at night and I felt there was too much clay around the baseline at the beginning and maybe it was because it was a little bit more humid and heavy so that created a different environment as a player. But I managed to find my groove. I didn’t start well I was 0-5 down, but I still felt I was hitting the ball well and had a good chance.”

Djokovic lost to the 13-time champion in Paris last year and the pair played some absurdly good shots during their huge latest clash – so much so, Andy Murray was among the stars lauding the match.

“You cannot play better clay court tennis than this,” Murray said. “It’s perfect.”

Andy Roddick added: “To this point, it’s one of the best matches I’ve ever seen.”

Remarkably, Djokovic lost the first five games of the match as Nadal roared into a one-set lead, but the top seed found quite staggering levels to beat the King of Clay on Chatrier – surely one of the toughest tasks in sports.

An unusual and amazing shot came early on with Nadal attempting to save three break points on his own serve in the second game of the second set.

While Djokovic would go on to break serve in response to the Spaniard winning the opening set 6-3, the 13-time champion at Roland Garros saved this particular break point with a truly sublime effort.

‘How on earth?!’ – Djokovic wins incredible rally then whips up crowd

“It has to be that good at the moment!” exclaimed Eurosport’s Simon Reed on commentary as Nadal left Djokovic laughing with a drop shot played while running backwards and to the side in a desperate reaction.

Djokovic, 34, has won the French Open once, in 2016, compared to Nadal’s 13 titles at Roland Garros but both men are in the hunt to end their careers with the most Grand Slam titles to their names.

‘Lights out play!’ – Nadal with ‘something special’ against Djokovic

Djokovic will now take on Stefanos Tsitsipas, who earlier reached his first Grand Slam final – and made history by becoming Greece’s first to do so too.

The fifth seed showed all his class and supreme form as he battled past Alexander Zverev, 6-3 6-3 4-6 4-6 6-3 in their semi-final on Friday afternoon.

The Greek star, who was playing in his third successive Grand Slam semi-final, had to hold his nerve in a dramatic deciding set and was then left “very emotional” in his on-court interview.

Highlights: Djokovic overcomes Nadal in classic battle in Paris

– – –

Watch all the action from the 2021 French Open live on Eurosport, eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app with 13-time champion Nadal eyeing a remarkable 14th title and two surprise names in the women’s final in Paris.

Roland-Garros

Djokovic downs Nadal in all-time classic semi-final in Paris

8 HOURS AGO

Djokovic downs Nadal in all-time classic semi-final in Paris

Novak Djokovic was at his very, very best as he downed Rafael Nadal, 3-6 6-3 7-6 6-2, during their French Open semi-final in what will go down as an all-time classic.

In what is only the third match Nadal has ever lost at Roland Garros, the 13-time champion was beaten on his favourite court with Djokovic simply unplayable over the four sets.

Both players traded winners with an array of incredible rallies which thrilled the Court Philippe Chatrier crowd and the standard of play simply could not have been higher.

Roland-Garros

‘We have to start talking about the GOAT’ – Wilander wowed by Djokovic win over Nadal

7 HOURS AGO

Djokovic and Rafael Nadal put on a masterclass at Roland Garros as they met for the second consecutive year – but this time the Serb came out on top after four hours and 11 minutes.

‘One of the top three matches in my life’ – Djokovic reacts to epic win over Nadal

Djokovic lost to the 13-time champion in Paris last year and the pair played some absurdly good shots during their huge latest clash – so much so, Andy Murray was among the stars lauding the match.

Remarkably, Djokovic lost the first five games of the match as Nadal roared into a one-set lead, but the top seed found quite staggering levels to beat the King of Clay on Chatrier – surely one of the toughest tasks in sports.

“You cannot play better clay court tennis than this,” Murray said. “It’s perfect.”

An unusual and amazing shot came early on with Nadal attempting to save three break points on his own serve in the second game of the second set.

While Djokovic would go on to break serve in response to the Spaniard winning the opening set 6-3, the 13-time champion at Roland Garros saved this particular break point with a truly sublime effort.

‘How on earth?!’ – Djokovic wins incredible rally then whips up crowd

“It has to be that good at the moment!” exclaimed Eurosport’s Simon Reed on commentary as Nadal left Djokovic laughing with a drop shot played while running backwards and to the side in a desperate reaction.

A curfew had been put in place for the semi-final but, thrillingly for the fans inside the stadium, they found out after the world number one edged a stunning third set that they would, in fact, be allowed to stay on.

There were wild and joyous scenes as the fans celebrated the announcement more than any of the epic rallies they had witnessed up until that point as Nadal and Djokovic traded breathtaking shots and winners.

Nadal threw everything at the top seed but, after his slow start, Djokovic always seemed to just have the edge when the big points came around and he managed to close out a thrilling four-set win.

Djokovic, 34, has won the French Open once, in 2016, compared to Nadal’s 13 titles at Roland Garros but both men are in the hunt to end their careers with the most Grand Slam titles to their names.

‘Lights out play!’ – Nadal with ‘something special’ against Djokovic

Djokovic will now take on Stefanos Tsitsipas, who earlier reached his first Grand Slam final – and made history by becoming Greece’s first to do so too.

The fifth seed showed all his class and supreme form as he battled past Alexander Zverev, 6-3 6-3 4-6 4-6 6-3 in their semi-final on Friday afternoon.

The Greek star, who was playing in his third successive Grand Slam semi-final, had to hold his nerve in a dramatic deciding set and was then left “very emotional” in his on-court interview.

Watch the moment Djokovic beats Nadal to reach final at Roland Garros

– – –

Watch all the action from the 2021 French Open live on Eurosport, eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app with 13-time champion Nadal eyeing a remarkable 14th title and two surprise names in the women’s final in Paris.

Roland-Garros

‘One of the top three matches in my life’ – Djokovic reacts to epic win over Nadal

7 HOURS AGO

Murray Calls Federer’s Late-Night Effort ‘Inspirational’

Roger Federer battled deep into the Paris night as Saturday turned to Sunday during his tight third-round victory against Dominik Koepfer at Roland Garros. The 39-year-old’s peers certainly took notice.

Former World No. 1 Andy Murray, who had right hip surgeries in January 2018 and January 2019, was watching closely. The Scot shared his praise for the Swiss legend on Twitter before the match ended.

“I’m not bothered by the outcome of this match at all,” Murray wrote. “Just seeing Federer at 39 off the back of two knee surgeries playing to an empty stadium at 12:30 a.m. getting fired up is inspirational to me. Do what you ❤️.”

Murray, currently No. 123 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, is working his way back to form as he tries to find his best game following his second hip surgery. The 34-year-old last competed in Rome, where he played doubles alongside Liam Broady and trained with stars including World No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

Federer is into the fourth round on the Parisian terre battue, and he will next play big-hitting Matteo Berrettini. If the eighth seed gets by the Italian, he could potentially face Djokovic in the quarter-finals.

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Broady/Murray Leave It Late In Rome Match Tie-break

© Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour

Andy Murray and Liam Broady beat Max Purcell and Luke Saville on Wednesday in Rome.

Fognini/Musetti knock out two-time former champions

Liam Broady and Andy Murray, who had trained this week with World No. 1 Novak Djokovic at the Foro Italico, won seven straight points from 3/6 down in the Match Tie-break to beat Australians Max Purcell and Luke Saville 5-7, 7-6(5), 10-6 on Wednesday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. The Britons next meet eighth seeds Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecau in the second round.

Italian wild cards Fabio Fognini and #NextGenATP star Lorenzo Musetti caused a big upset when they knocked out top-seeded Colombians and two-time Rome champions Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 7-6(7), 6-4.

Fognini and Musetti saved two set points at 4-5 deciding point deuce and at 5/6 in the first-set tie-break, prior to sealing the win with a fifth break of the Colombians’ serve. They will now play Marcelo Arevalo and Matwe Middelkoop, who defeated Britons Daniel Evans and Neal Skupski, this season’s Miami Open presented by Itau and Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters finalists, 6-3, 6-2.

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Second-seeded Croatians Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic improved to a 33-4 record on the season — including two ATP Masters 1000 crowns — after a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Alexander Bublik and Cristian Garin. They now face Marcus Daniell and Philipp Oswald in the second round.

Third seeds Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek had four match points at 5-4 in the second set, but had to wait for their win in a hard-fought 7-6(5), 5-7, 10-7 win over Alex de Minaur and Jan-Lennard Struff. The Croatian/Slovak team next meet John Peers and Michael Venus.

Elsewhere, defending champions and fourth seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos began their quest for a fourth Masters 1000 crown with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Argentines Andres Molteni and Diego Schwartzman. Three days ago, Granollers and Zeballos beat Mektic and Pavic in the Mutua Madrid Open final. They will now prepare to face Franko Skugor and Lukasz Kubot.

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Murray In Rome, Practises With Djokovic

Andy Murray is not competing in the Internazionali BNL d’Italia this week, but the former World No. 1 is at the Foro Italico to train with the best players in the world.

The 33-year-old has not played a tournament since Rotterdam in early March due to a left groin injury. But he has mixed it up with some of the ATP Tour’s biggest stars at the Foro Italico, including World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Diego Schwartzman.

“I haven’t seen him in a while, and it was great to hit with him. I thought he played very well on the court,” Djokovic said. “He moves well, considering it’s clay, which is not the best surface for his hips. But considering what he has been through lately, I think it seems like he’s been feeling well on the court. That’s what he’s saying, and that’s what it appears on the court itself.

“We had a nice chat and had a few laughs on the court as well. It was just great. It brought back the old times when we spent a lot of time on the court together, whether it was training or playing against each other.”

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