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Relieved Rafa After Dogfight With Djoko

By Rediff Sports
June 01, 2022 13:47 IST
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IMAGE: Rafael Nadal celebrates as he sends Novak Djokovic packing during their quarter-final match at the French Open on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters
 

In another epic battle, 13-time French Open Champion Rafael Nadal beat World Number 1 Novak Djokovic 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 to enter the semi-final of the French Open at Roland Garros on Tuesday.

Nadal will meet Germany's Alexander Zverev for a place in Sunday's final.

IMAGE: Rafa is relieved after the win. Photograph: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Rafa led the first set while Djoko stormed back in the second.

Both players stretched each other, especially in the second set, when Djoko broke Rafa and found a window back into the match.

Nadal cannot believe it!

IMAGE: Rafa can't believe he pulled off a nearly flawless win! Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

Rafa reasserted himself with a dominant third set. Djoko started strongest in the fourth, but Rafa denied his attempt to serve out the set and powered to victory in a one-sided tie-break.

The 13-time French Open champion is chasing a record-extending 22nd men's Grand Slam title. But time may be running out for Rafa who has been suffering from a chronic foot injury that had put his participation at the clay court major in doubt.

Nadal breaks into his sweet smile after the big win 

IMAGE: Rafa breaks into his endearing smile after the big win. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

'I don't know what can happen. I think I'm gonna be playing this tournament because we are doing the things to be ready to play this tournament, but I don't know what's gonna happen after here,' Rafa told a news conference after his win on Tuesday, hinting that retirement could be not that far away.

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