Rafa Nadal has never lost a final at Roland Garros. Anyone who was ever going to beat Rafa had to do it before the final. A blessing in disguise is when you face the greatest clay court player in the semi final. Novak grabbed that opportunity inflicting only a third defeat at the French Open for the Spaniard. Djokovic doesn’t get the credit he deserves for being one of the greatest all round players of his generation. He refused to be bullied even when he was 5-0 down in the first set. Novak has a great defensive game which saw him through at the end especially that crucial third set. Watch 3-2 in that set 40-30 to Nadal on the Serb’s serve .That for me was basically match point saved, if Nadal had won that it would have been difficult to come back from that. The tie break was a close affair there. Another crucial aspect of the game in which Novak was better than Nadal was at the net, the drop shots were not so great for the Spaniard in this one.
Let me ask you something. You are down 2-0 fourth set having just gone a break down. You have a 2 sets to one lead, what goes through your mind? You probably will be thinking of the fifth set right and just going through the motions in the fourth just to save wind. But nope that’s not Novak’s style. He went on to win six straight games to emphatically dismiss the third seed and book a final spot against Monte Carlo champ Tsitsipas. Watch 3-2(15-0 Nadal). I won’t make excuses for Rafa but the tired forehand at the end of that point probably showing he is every bit of 35 years of age and probably no longer has the fuel to go the distance any more. With Novak you can never be sure of a point. Watch 4-2 fourth set 40-30 to Novak. Normally that Rafa forehand cross court spells curtains for the opponent but Novak somehow got the racquet to the ball. Take a bow Novak. Its game on for the race for the most grand slam titles, Novak will go to 19 if he wins against Stefanos on Sunday with Roger and Rafa wedged together at the top with 20.