Rafael Nadal insists he doesn’t know for sure if any match at Roland Garros could be his last at a place he loves, a place he loves.
For now, if he keeps winning and continues to perform the way he did during his massive quarter-final victory over long-time rival Novak Djokovic that began in May and ended in June, Nadal will have more chances to play.
With a combination of superb shots and his trademark flexibility, top seed Nadal passed French Open champion Djokovic 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (4) to move one step closer to his streak. The 14th Grand Slam tournament on clay and what will be the 22nd trophy overall, adding to the records he already holds.
“One of those magical nights for me,” Nadal said.
For anyone lucky enough to be there too – provided they are able to stay awake – or even anyone watching from afar. The match began shortly after nine in the evening on Tuesday and concluded more than four hours after one in the morning on Wednesday.
“TV decides,” Djokovic said of the late start. “This is the world we live in.”
Watch | Nadal defeats Djokovic at the French Open:
The arc said this was a quarter-final, yes, but it looked like a final, from the quality of the play to the quality of the effort, from the anticipation that preceded it to the atmosphere that surrounded it.
The only component missing: a trophy was not handed to the winner.
Nadal reaches 36 on Friday when he faces third seed Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals. When the subject of Nadal’s future was brought up during his court interview, he smiled.
“By the way, see you in a couple of days,” Nadal said. “That’s the only thing I can say.”
It will be difficult for any match to live up to this match.
No game, point, stroke, or, indeed, a move came with a hint of indifference. Both men gave their all. Nothing came easily.
Nadal’s 3-0 lead in the second set did him no good. He ended up with Djokovic and later said, “I thought, OK, I’m back in the game.”
But Djokovic’s 3-0 lead in the fourth game didn’t do him any good, though, as it served him well at 5-3, he even stood on one point from forcing the fifth twice. Nadal saved those set points and broke there, then ran off with the closing tiebreak, clinching 6-1 and never losing focus after his first three points veered off course.
“I lost to a better player today,” said Djokovic, who won 22 straight sets until the 49-minute opening match against Nadal. “I had chances. I didn’t use them. That’s it.”
This standoff was 59, more than any other two men have played each other in the Open Era. Nadal reduced Djokovic’s series lead to 30-29 while improving to 8-2 against his rival at Roland Garros.
Nadal is now 110-3 for his career in place. Two of those losses came against Djokovic, including in the semifinals last year. This time around, Nadal made sure that Djokovic stayed behind in the slams with 20. Nadal broke the triple tie with Roger Federer with that number by winning the Australian Open in January, when Djokovic was unable to play because he was not. Vaccination against COVID-19.
Fernandez’s hopes of running deep
Leila Fernandez’s dream ended at Roland Garros in the quarter-finals on Tuesday – a combination of a tough match against fellow Italian Martina Trevisan and a right-foot injury that required treatment in the first set of 6-2, 6-7 (3), 6-3 defeat.
Trevisan served for the match at 5-4 in the second set, but was broken and Fernandez fought back again to win the set in the tiebreak.
The third set looked like one-way traffic at 0-4. But Fernandez continued to fight. It took nearly an hour for the 28-year-old Italian, who reached the surprising quarter-finals in Paris in 2020, to win her second match point.
This time, she’s done her job, en route to her first semi-final at Roland Garros to take on fellow American Coco Gauff, a semi-finalist for the first time in a Grand Slam.
Characteristic energy, liveliness and demonstration were absent in Fernandes’ game on Tuesday, no doubt in part due to concerns about the foot.
There was no sign of a problem during her training session on Monday, at least not during the first hour. But it appears that it was a pre-existing problem.
Watch | Aaling Fernandez falls in 3 sets from the quarter-finals at Roland Garros:
After several hours during which Fernandez was said to be receiving treatment, and two postponements of the tournament, the Canadian did not meet with the media to highlight the injury “on the advice of the tournament’s medical team”.
She was seen in the women’s dressing room with crutches.
In fact, absolutely little is known, particularly whether the injury was serious enough to affect her preparation and competitive plans during the brief grasscourt season leading up to next month’s Wimbledon.
bad luck day
Some brief questions that WTA communications officials asked Fernandez yielded little information, though she was not asked about the problem.
Fernandes said during 58- “Today was definitely bad luck. I could feel it before the match, but I didn’t think much about it. You know, it just happened and we’re going to have to learn from that.” The second audio clip.
At the final point of the match 2-2 in the first set, Fernandes came in limp.
Arriving in her chair, the physical trainer and doctor walked out to address what appeared to be a problem on the top of her right foot, near the toes.
She also took a few pills from the hero doctor.
The foot was wrapped. And about 20 minutes later, when the pills finally started, I encountered even greater resistance.
But in the end, it was the combination of adrenaline and determination that propelled the match into the third set.
This was Fernandez’s first Roland Garros quarter-final match, with a large crowd at Court Philippe Chatrier and the semi-final berth at stake.
“It’s a bit difficult at the moment to find some positives, because of course I wanted to get to the semi-finals. But I think I’ll just have to take a few days and then come back and see what I’ve done well,” Fernandez told the tournament official. . “We’ll go from there. I’ll now see what I can do to recover as quickly as possible.”
Fernandes was not due to play in the opening week of the grasscourt season next week. Her next scheduled tournament is the WTA 500 in Berlin, Germany which begins on June 13.
Trevisan “nervous” in the first match point
Trevisan had a chance to win two games but Fernandez, who tripped with a foot injury, saved match point and then won the tiebreak.
“At the first point of the game I felt a little more nervous,” Trevisan said in her on-court interview. “I thought a lot…that I was one point away from the semi-finals.”
Trevisan double-faulted twice in the tiebreak but won the first seven points of the third set and broke twice en route to a 4-0 lead.
Fernandes has won 7-2 in three sets this year but Trevisan won the first seven points of the third set and broke twice on the way to a 4-0 win.
Fernandez entered the French Open as the 18th ranked player in the world but was unable to get past the 59th seed Trevisan.
joff act from stevens
An appearance in the quarter-finals was the most successful at Roland Garros for Fernandez, who was the only Canadian remaining at the French Open.
This is the tenth win in a row for Trevisan, who reached the quarter-finals of the French Open two years ago. She won her first tour title this month in Rabat, Morocco.
Gauff outpaced fellow American Sloane Stephens 7-5 6-2 in her biggest win of a Grand Slam.
Trevisan defeated Gave in the second round at Roland Garros during the quarter-finals in 2020.
“I feel so happy now. Words can’t explain it,” said Gauff, 18, after reaching the semi-finals for the first time in a competition. “Last year in the quarter was a huge loss and that made me stronger for moments like today.”
Zverev stops karaz
Many people expected that 19-year-old rising star Carlos Alcaraz would leave this French Open as champion. Maybe one day. not yet. Instead, Alexander Zverev still has a chance of achieving his first Grand Slam title.
Zverev put an end to Alcars’ winning streak in 14 consecutive games by stopping to win 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7) on Tuesday night, and reached the semifinals at Roland Garros for the second year in the year. Row.
“I told him on the net, ‘You’re going to win this tournament many times, not just once,’ said third seed Zverev, 2020 US Open runner-up and US Open gold medalist. with it before he even started… by beating us all.”
Zverev will now face the winner of Tuesday night’s much-anticipated quarter-final match between defending champion Novak Djokovic and 13-time champion Rafael Nadal. This was so big that it was made available for free across France via the streaming service which has exclusive access to this year’s night sessions on the major clay courts.