It was a fantastic performance from the No.1 seed Serbian to outlast the 13-time title winner after opening set down under the lights of Philippe Chatrier.
After the four sets (3-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2) Nadal blockbuster, Djokovic extended head-to-head record 30-28 and reached the sixth championship match in Roland Garros.
“It was definitely the best match that I was ever part of at Roland Garros, and (it was among the) top three matches that I’ve ever played in my entire career,” Djokovic said in the post-match interview.
After four hours and 11-minute marathon rallies, Novak Djokovic became the first player to defeat Rafael Nadal twice on the Parisian clay.
Serb continued, “(That is) considering the 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 past 15-plus years, and the atmosphere, which was completely electric. For both players, [we had] a lot of support. Just amazing.”
The Spaniard has won 13 titles and a win-loss record of 105-3 in the French Open.
“It’s hard to find words bigger than all the superlatives you can think of for Rafa’s achievements at Roland Garros. He has been the most dominant player in Roland Garros history.
He lost [here] two, now three times, in his entire career. He’s been playing here for almost 20 years. That achievement speaks for itself. The amount of wins that he has made on this court is incredible,” World No.1 further added.
“It’s Just One of These Matches That I Really Will Remember For a Very Long Time”: Novak Djokovic
Djokovic has a win-loss of 2-7 against Nadal in the Paris major event. In addition to this, Serbian stunned Spaniard in straight sets in the 2015 edition quarterfinal for the first time.
Novak also emphasised, “Each time you step on the court with him, you know that you must climb Mount Everest to win against this guy here.”
Speaking about the match plan, Djokovic explained, “I (had)won only once in the eight matches that we ever played on Chatrier here (Roland Garros). I tried to take some positives and some cues from that match in 2015 that I won against him to implement tonight, which worked out very nicely.”
“But it’s just one of these matches that I really will remember for a very long time, not just because I won the match, but because of the atmosphere and just because the occasion was very special,” Serb expressed.
In the French Open 2021 final, Novak Djokovic will lock horns with No.5 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who has reached the Grand Slam championship match for the first time after dismissing German Alexander Zverev.