Match Thread:  Novak Djokovic vs.  Rafael Nadal | 2021 French Open Men's Semifinal
By - rafaknight
Nadal : "I'm sad, I lost at the most important tournament of the year for me. But it's just a defeat on a tennis court you know, and tomorrow I'll be at home with my family. That's OK."
Lurking and upvoting in this thread because I’m still reeling off how amazing it was
So now nole is God of clay since he has beaten King of clay
Would you say the same thing for Soderling? No, of course not.
To overthrown the king of clay, you've got to win Roland Garros 14 times before making that statement.
Good thing Federer withdrew. Would've bust his knee playing these two.
What a game
Is this the most comments a match thread has ever received??
Tsitsi's only hope for the final is to somehow get Wawrinka's backhand and even then I'm not sure he could get a set from the Djoker playing like he played today. Shit the 2012 AO final hurts a lot more right now. Congrats to Nole and I'm gonna be the first person to call him the GOAT when it's all said and done
Serve % and double faults made most of the difference today.
Nadal's serve was bad at this clay season. It was bad against Rublev at Monte Carlo and throughout RG, making 7 DF against Norrie and 8 against Djokovic. Funny when it was 5-0 his serve began causing problems.
Agreed. Couldn’t have put it better.
Soderling 2009, Nole 2015, Nole 2021; This happens every 6 years. Nadal fans shud take comfort in that.
As a Rafa and Iga fan, my heart is shattered. And because I'd still be licking my wounds, I'd be on the Tsitsi camp on the finals lol
When Djokovic beats Nadal, his BH down the line is usually working. Boy was it locked in today...painting the corner time and time again.
He did miss quite a few tho.
Fuck. This should have been a final.
In many ways it was...
You may not like him minister... But you got to admit.. thanovic has style...
So Musetti>Nadal on clay as well because he got 2 sets off Djokovic to Nadal’s 1?
RIP - the guy who has to edit it for highlights
Just post the whole thing
Classy press conf from Rafa
What did he say though
What did he say?
Where are you watching??
Eurosport shown quick excerpt almost right after the match. They’ll probably post it on RG yt channel as well
Good luck Nole & Stef. May the best man win!
Rafa is still unbeaten in a Roland Garros final. Let us not forget
Just wish Nadal was drawn on the other side, and the clash would've began at 2pm and probably gotten a better Nadal.
I'm also unbeaten in a Roland Garros final
I’ve been a fan of Nadal since 2008, but I’ll admit it: Djokovic is the GOAT. He’s more complete than Rafa and Roger
I think that’s good news to Stef after all.
This SF was epic, but also lots of UEs
lol though good news?
You think someone who beat Nadal can't beat Stef?
It's a better matchup stylistically for Tsits. Nadals style is terrible for Stef. Obviously neither is a good option
Djokovic is in his beast mode.
I had to leave when Nadal broke to start the set holy shit how did he lose 6-2
By not winning another game...also quite a few ue's, inopportune double faults, and fantastic clutch play by Djokovic even when he faced bp.
And because he lost that 3rd set, most of the spirit left Rafa. Because if I felt it so did Nadal.
Well he won one more game after he broke lol wow that's crazy can't wait to see the highlights
Lol! You're right. 😂
Who are these lying ass tennis fans who say the best rivalry is Fed vs Rafa?!?! Y’all must not be watching these Nole vs Rafa matches cuz they are far superior!
Just be honest … it’s ok.
Recency bias at its best. fedal has given us not too young tennis fans matches for our lifetime I have yet to seen ever again.
Who is saying this?
Where are you reading those comments?
Recency bias chief, fed vs nadal have had so many epics.
Not at all. Been a tennis fan since 1997. Rafa dominated Fed so much, hitting about 70% of his shots to the Fed BH & the lopsided record in Rafas favor. Not that exciting when you pretty much know who’s gonna win.
I mean this is a total misrepresentation considering Rafa hasn't beaten Federer outside of clay in seven years.
Fed has beaten Rafa exactly 2 times in slams since 2012.
I’m a Nole fan who has been quite interested in tennis since’97 & my interest increased when my guy took over #1.
Fedfans always accusing someone of not knowing tennis cuz they don’t say “Fed is the greatest”.
Whatever, Fed has never & will never beat the King of Clay at RG! Did I get the tense right?
Of course he won't beat Rafa at RG, but that wasn't really the point of our discussion was it? I never even argued Federer was the greatest, just that the rivalry is more nuanced than you suggested.
Get a grip instead of losing your shit because people pick up on stuff like this.
I don’t think the rivalry is nuanced at all. Early on Rafa dominated then later on Fed employed Nole’s tactics (which can actually beat Rafa) & has gotten more wins recently on HCs.
Perhaps you should calm down bcuz I’m not “losing my shit” by making a couple of points.
Name 3 Rafa vs Fed matches that match the quality of the Rafa vs Nole matches in your opinion.
Perhaps you missed the word “dominated”. It’s past tense.
The past seven years are in the past. That isn't how the past tense works.
Fact is that depicting the Federer-Nadal rivalry as some kind of one-way beating suggests an interest in tennis that tailed off in 2012. Federer has gotten the better of him in multiple Grand Slams and Masters 1000s since.
Federer vs Nadal Australian Open 2009 is still the best tennis match of all time imo
Not like this or the 2012 australian open tho
2008 Wimbledon? Even 2017 aussie open was more entertaining to me, but then I prefer different styles over long ass rally fests.
True. I agree. Even though yesterday's match was great, I prefer two people having different style battling over.
Gotta admit it was never on same level as djoko and nadal. Just look at 2012 Australian open
I’m soooo dreading the arrogance that will come from Novak’s camp here on. Might as well pray for the Gods to bless Stefanos just to shut ‘em up. I like Novak but his camp dampens everything.
No arrogance, just celebration. And he deserves hype for beating RAFA at the French open
Bro he beat Rafa in RG, let him fucking have his moment
Yea not talking about Novak. He should stand tall and proud and he’s not even arrogant. I’m talking about his team.
He is arrogant - ugly
Exactly how I feel about the Fedfans … so obnoxious
Why the fuck is Eurosport broadcasting some repeat of a cycling race instead of the Cube? Fucking horseshit.
I got Monte Carlo QF vibes in the second set, when Nadal´s serve also went to shit and he lost to Rublev.
A bit like vs Zverev in Madrid too... "and then I did a disaster". He was 4-0 I believe and lost 6-4?
Serving is important.
called novak in 4 halfway through the 2nd and had to endure watching three extra hours of torture with friends who thought rafa could do it. this one hurts.
he won the RG in September....
But then there was a week between Rome and RG.
Point is having completely different conditions in terms of weather and court speed didn’t bother him, why should this.
Could happen, Rafa seems slightly superstitious and routine, habitual with his preparations etc, he was definitely off ticked by some sort of adjustments. You could see it early in the match when the ball boy didn't put his water bottle in the right place on his towel, Rafa expressed it. So the same could happen with the scheduling etc, once again not excuses
I was worried about that but it shouldn't really matter given he still has played as many matches before a semi final.
I think the problem today was just lack of his A game. Flashes of A game, but not consistently or semi-consistently.
Look at match vs Diego. From 4-4 he just raised it to an insane level and was unplayable. We didn't see that today.
Been saying since the beginning, Novak looks like he has had a different fire this French open. Don’t know if he can maintain the same level of tennis he did today against stef. Hopefully we can get at least half as good of entertainment as this match on Sunday.
for sure he can, if u're alluding to Stan's final, the two have nothing in common. since then he's got 18 GS, won all of them, so nothing to prove to anyone!
he's on mission right now - record hunting, ain't no stoping him!
stef will get crashed on sunday!
No matter whose fan you are, if someone is so good he deserves to be up there. Improving different aspects of his game even at this age , serve, forehand, etc. Nole deserves the utmost respect. What a legend. Coming from a diehard Fed fan
He could do some improvements on his overhead though. Goodness me his overheads in this match were akin to those that players usually do during the pre match warmup lol
Vouch from Rafa fan (since 2006), respect.
Same here. Big Rafa fan since 2006. But Djokovic has dominated for far too long. It would be unfair to say he isn't the GOAT.
It was painful to watch today especially after Rafa missed the big volly.in the third set that eventually cost him the set and the match.
Djokovic saying when he was 0-5 down he was stil locked in and believed he was hitting great and knew it was only a matter of time before he came back. That is the mindset of a champion
Only a few players can say that. Only a few.
Only few player can believe that
It feels weird having to watch the RG final this Sunday and hear no mention of Nadal in the introductions. I thought that would never happen again since 2016.
It was going to happen at some point. Rafa is still such a warrior. He never gave up until the very end. Such an inspiration.
I know he still has some RG to win. Next year he will come with VENGEANCE.
As for now, only Djokovic is unbeaten on his favorite GS from the semifinals: 18-0 at AO.
If that doesn't make him the goat i don't know what does.
First, winning on Sunday. Tsitsipas will go full Wawrinka mode on Sunday, so he'd better get prepared.
Then, winning or losing on Sunday, trying to be as close as possible to Federer and Nadal regarding Grand Slams.
Finally, being fully fit for the next 3 or 4 years and securing some AO to cement his legacy Down Under. I know he wants Olympic Gold, but it might be not a key factor. ATP Finals or Masters 1000 won are not considered, although they should be.
I can't believe the prime minister called to say the crowd can stay after curfew! That's crazy
Next year is an election year so probably self-serving like most politicians
For sure, that means he had a passion and respect for the event and the sport
Is Wimbledon going ahead in June? It's going to be monumental
Man I hope Federer is firing all cylinders. I don't expect him to win the tournament, but I just want to see him play well and get some high-level scalps into the second week. It would mean so much to still have the Big 3 performing at the top.
Imo he will be. He actually played excellent tennis at this year's RG. Here's to him & Rafa being fit & injury free by the end of the month
I hope so, I think you could be right.
Yes it is. Grass court season is already underway.
It feels unreal. So grass on schedule & US Open back on track for September? I'm not ready
Yes the schedule till USO is on track. But the Asian swing is under some doubt (and might be why Indian Wells announced their October date).
Indeed, be ready, get yourself ready when the time comes. Don't forget the ATP tour in betweens
Feels like an embarrassment of riches after the last year. HERE WE GO
This Goat debate is never going to end. Even if you press against some one why one of the Big 3 is better than the other, no one is going to fully acknowledge from the heart. Popularity is also one of the huge factors in GOAT Debate.
But mind my words, if Djoker beats tsitsipas on Sunday then there are no stats that could deny the fact that he is the BOAT if not the GOAT.
If Novak wins 20 slams this year, he will have every argument except the Olymics in his favor.
Idk about others but if he manages to win on Sunday and after that he retires (which he is of course not going to), in my book he will the best ever, reason being he would be the only player to win all the masters 1000 and GS twice. This accolade is a true sign of versatility across surfaces.
Also an Olympic medal is more so required for pride of the nation. It is not the biggest achievement in tennis. Djokovic has already made his country so proud that they don't necessarily require any medals from him to prove his worth.
He's dominated for far too long. Hate to say this as a big Rafa fan, but there's no denying that Djok is the GOAT.
I am a huge fan of Roger and I was supporting Rafa whole heartedly in this match but people should acknowledge basic facts and stats that define greatness. I don't even like Djokovic's game as it is not pleasing to my eyes but that doesn't mean I would refrain from saying that he is the most dominant player I have ever seen.
Nadal still close though. I love the Nole-Rafa rivalry
Agree. Although I don't like the rivalry anymore as the results have tilted completely in Djokovics favour for a while now with the exception being last year's RG final. Being a Nadal fan, I get sweaty palms while watching him play djokovic.
Might be the best tennis match I've ever seen
Third set i can fathom, not the match. Rafa produced too many errors.
Too many unforced errors for that.
you didn't see 2008 Wimbledon Men's Final
y u want me 2 cry?
Did you not see the 2019 Wimbledon?
That def wasn't the best match I've ever seen, but certainly the biggest display of mental dominance I've ever seen
It was all I could do to refrain from stabbing myself in the heart
This is the greatest sport in the world.
Hands fucking down. The only one I follow. The only one I love.
After beating Roger at Wimbly and Rafa at RG, this man has earned my upmost respect.
Tsitsipas isn’t afraid of Novak and will do what needs to be done. Let’s go.
Hopefully a fight but I can't predict it right now, Novak is the obvious odds favorite right now for sure and probably by a lot.
I can't help but think if Nadal won that 3rd set, he might have been able to come back in the 5th.
I think you mean Nadal would've won the 4th set.
If if if, doesn't exist
That set point will be painful for a while.
All big 3 may go into us open with 20 slams each.. a real possibility ..
Even if Rafa had won the third, Nole would have won the next two.
Difficult to say, momentum is a big factor.
I agree. Nadal was physically done after the 3rd set. At 35 it will only get harder for him in these long matches. Federer managed to stay competitive because he plays shorter points and don't chase every ball.
That's so true and I wonder how more people didn't notice it. Nadal was hanging by a thread and the only reason he was winning points was his resourcefulness and craft. He dominated the first set and then took a backseat for the rest of the game. Numerous times in this match he didn't chase a drop shot or a down the line shot. There was a point in the 4th where he tried 2 drop shots in back to back points and that was the moment I knew he's lost the match
Since 2017 Nadal has been making drop shots from behind the baseline due to his newly adapted style, to be less aggressive and conserve energy. If it wasn't for this new style he probably wouldn't be playing today.
Nole style is similar to Nadal too. Federer's serve gives him a big advantage. Nole's serve today gave him an advantage too.
I agree Nadal maybe won't be as competitive after 37, but clearly he is still competitive.
Djokovic is 1 year younger tho. That's a massive amount of tennis in Nadal's legs.
I agree that Nole has more time. However, I think Nole style is even more physically demanding.
Nadal game for the last few years was agreessive. He wins by winners although is defensive when needed.
Nole style is mostly defensive.
Nadal won't last as Federer. However, I feel that if Nole's stamina started to decline, he will decline quicker.
I still agree that Nole will still be superb for at least next year which is a big advantage.
I think it's also because he's built bigger than Fed and Nole. Not as much endurance?
Harder on the knees, most likely
Very good point djoko had more in the tank
Imagine if someone bet on Novak to win when he was close to being bageled in the first set lol
Only a crazy squared Nole fan would do that. But I would respect that
I wonder what the odds were like then lol. Bet some crazy novak fan did
Honestly it's not a bad strategy. Literally a lotto ticket
How fitting for the big 3 would it be if they all manage to get 20 slams each.
So Novak beat Rafa. But can he beat the Rafa curse? Tsitsipas to win the RG.
Novak's the GOAT without a doubt he will never be the best ambassador for the sport
Respect to these 2 undisputed goats man what a privilege it was to watch that 😢 I don’t want these guys to retire
If Nole wins a 2nd RG does that put GOAT debates to rest?
No. The true GOAT needs to have the most historic and prestigious tennis record: most consecutive fans player of the year award
To put it to rest, he needs the gold medal and pass the others in Grand Slams.
For Nadal to be the GOAT, he needs a second AO and WTF and most slams.
However, even without the Gold Medal, if Nole passes Nadal and Federer in GS, he is most likely the GOAT unless Nadal puts a miracle in the other grand slams.
Yeah a double career slam is worth more than just about anything. Only if Nadal wins another AO title, which looks more unlikely every year, would the GOAT debate be brought back to life.
No, it doesn't make a difference if he has 1 or 2 when the other has 13 titles.
The others don't have 2 of each Slam. And who cares about 13 at RG? Yeah Nadal is the king of RG, but 13 at RG does not make him the GOAT.
If Djoko had 13 AOs would that make him the GOAT? no
I agree that that 13 at RG don't make him the GOAT. Neither do 2 at RG though.
Novak’s already the GOAT for me. He’s just not as popular as Fedal but anyone with a neutral mindset already knows that.
Diehard Federer fan here. Yes.
Gutted for Nadal but Djoko turned it up and played well after the first. Kudos to him, well deserved. Hopefully Rafa can bring it back next year on clay.
Lets gooo Noleeeee!
I know what the 30-28 is. But what is 103-5?
Its 105-3, and its W-L for Rafa in RG. He lost for the 3rd time here. Its really really hard to grasp magnitude of this statistics
Thanks! Yeah, that is insane!
Its 105-3: nadal's updated french open record
[Stefanos reaction to the match](https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/proxy/-t1OSApLE2XrcIqpyKVAN2ZciZG7-gqEeLi0cAICbiJA7mk6bfyxxkLIV3ncguho6RJoIJvPavdTnf2AyOYbULxV4lIQ5Z83P1ulFoaY4Q)
lol, I thought I was going to get *Let them fight*
I will continue to blame the new statue.
Am I the only one who thinks the statue looks nothing like him? Facially speaking
Hoping the Small Kid knows how to fight in Sunday
Got both predictions right today 🥳
Lol me too. Stef I believed but casually picked Novak being a fan without much hope.
Damn the one time I bet on Nadal, Djokovic wins. Maybe it was my plan all along hehe
So, pressure is a privilege.
I still think Tsitsipas has a slight advantage against Djokovic, but this was a victory for the ages.
What an historic match this is. It’s 3 am. Would have watched another 2 hours of this and still wanted more.
What a match. Congrats to Novak
I'm so angry
Lmao glad Novak called them out on the translating that just impedes the interviews.
I am a Fed fan. I love Rafa. But in my books, Djoker is the GOAT. I have maintained that even before today's match. This match just confirmed by beliefs. He is a player with no weak points.
What a match. That was an incredible final. Totally wasn't the semifinal.
That was pure Grand Slam MAGIC!!!
Novak being a multilingual is such a beaut. GOAT.
Can Rafa win another slam ?
Yes, he won US Open 2019. For wimbeldon, he lost to the finalist. For AO, in 2020, he lost to the finalist and in 2019 he was the finalist. He still has FO next year obviously.
Of course, the more the time passes, the less likely it will happen.
He wasn't having the best RG overall, struggled at times I think he wins it again next year.
You'd be silly to count him out of Roland Garros after one match when he's won 13 of them but this may be significant. A wake-up call for other players too, and a sign that age could be catching up. I suppose we'll see.