Djokovic Unstoppable Sets Clash with Nadal into Roland Garros SFs

Djokovic Unstoppable Sets Clash with Nadal into Roland Garros SFs Photo: TT
Novak Djokovic shakes hands with Matteo Berrettini after their quarterfinal match at the Roland Garros. Wednesday, June 9, 2021.

The World. No. 1 outlasted Berrettini in a thrilling four-setter to book a place in the French Open semi-finals.

Novak Djokovic hit the Court Philippe-Chatrier to face Matteo Berrettini for the second time on tour, defeating the Italian player 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 7-5 in three hours and 28 minutes.

The Serbian player came out playing with great intensity from the first ball of the opening set, putting under pressure the world No. 9.

Despite an early break on his serve, the 2021 ATP Cup finalist fought to improve his game.

The four-time ATP titlist had three breakpoint opportunities, though the exceptional performance from the top seed prevented any attempt of producing a comeback.

Djokovic took the lead, sealing the first set with a 6-3 win in 52 minutes.

Aiming to reach his 40th Grand Slam semi-final in Paris, the 34-year-old showcased a perfect form executing his game with exceptional precision and full mobility on court.

Serving very well, Djokovic hit five winners while recording just two unforced errors in the first set.

The 2016 Roland-Garros champion took control of the second set to close out 6-2, opening a 2-0 advantage over the ninth seed.

In the third set, the Italian player regrouped, upgrading his performance to keep his chances alive.

The 2021 Serbia Open champion took the lead at 2-1, recovering his powerful serve, with a crowd on fire at Chatrier.

At 4-4, Djokovic leveled up as he improved his form, forcing a tiebreak, which Berretini won 7-6 (5).

The fourth set continued as tight as the former, and with the Belgrade native leading the score 3-2, the match came to a halt.

The players went back to the locker rooms while the public began to leave the stadium due to the Covid-19 curfew in Paris.

Since Wednesday, the local authorities moved the curfew to 11 pm (local time), and though the night session started an hour before the usual, the four-set battle was far from over.

Both players returned to action as the quarterfinal match resumed in an empty stadium, with Djokovic extending his lead 4-3.

Despite recording his third double fault in the match, the 25-year-old managed to level up at 4-4.

The 2021 Mutua Madrid Open finalist Berrettini pulled out a hard-fought battle but still could not stop Djokovic from claiming the set 7-5 and the match, advancing to his 11th Roland-Garros semi-final.

The 18-time Grand Slam champion won 77 percent of his first-serve points to Bettettini’s 71, converting four of nine break points.

Overall, he hit 44 winners to 55 from his rival, recorded 19 unforced errors, comparing to 51 from the Italian, and cracked a total of ten aces.

NADAL vs. DJOKOVIC

Rafael Nadal secured a spot into his 35th Grand Slam semi-final by beating Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 after two hours and 45 minutes.

The 13-time French Open champion reached his 14th semi-final at the Parisian tournament setting another record to enter the sport history books.

On Friday, the Spaniard will face Djokovic, while Alexander Zverev will play against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The World No. 3 leads their ATP Head2Head series 19-7 on clay, 7-1 at the Parisian major.

Cecilia demartini
Sports Pundit staff writer @ceci_2812
Cecilia is a writer and a journalist passionate about sports, particularly motorsport, tennis, and soccer

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