World No. 1 Novak Djokovic was absolutely thrilled after becoming the second player ever to beat Rafael Nadal at the French Open. Djokovic, seeded at No. 1, beat Nadal 3-6 6-3 7-6 (4) 6-2 in the French Open semifinal. “Definitely the best match that I was part of ever in Roland-Garros for me, and top three matches that I ever played in my entire career — considering quality of tennis, playing my biggest rival on the court where he has had so much success and has been the dominant force in the last 15-plus years,” Djokovic said.
“And the atmosphere which was completely electric — for both players, a lot of support. Just amazing. I was very happy that there was no curfew, 11:00. I heard there was a special waiver, so they allowed the crowd to stay.
“Just one of these nights and matches that you will remember forever”.
Nadal was sad following the Djokovic loss
“I’m sad I lost at the most important tournament of the year for me,” he lamented.
“But it’s just a defeat on a tennis court you know, and tomorrow I’ll be at home with my family. That’s okay…. My opportunities to win here are not eternal. In our sport, you must admit both victory and defeat.
I do know that I can’t win the tournament 15, 16 times. It’s not a disaster at all”. “That’s sport. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I tried to give my best…. I had the big chance with set point, 6-5, second serve.
That’s it. Anything could happen in that moment”. Nadal, ranked at No. 3 in the world, was aiming a record 14th French Open title. “Probably was not my best day out there,” the 35-year-old admitted. “Even if I [fought], that I put a lot of effort, I mean, the position on the shots [wasn’t] that effective tonight.
Against a player like him that takes the ball early, you are not able to take him out of his positions, then is very difficult, no?…. These kind of mistakes can happen. But if you want to win, you can’t make these mistakes.
So that’s it. Well done for him. [It was] a good fight out there. I try my best, and today was not my day. “(It) is true that probably the conditions were a little bit slower later on. We had been playing with very warm and high bounces.
During the night the situation goes a little bit the other way, no? So bounce a little bit less. The ball gets less topspin. That’s more favorable for him, the conditions. By the way, doesn’t matter. That’s tennis.
The player who get used to the conditions better is the player who deserves to win. So no doubt he deserved to win”.