Report Wire

News at Another Perspective

Djokovic-Nadal, Tsitsipas-Zverev in French Open semifinals

4 min read
Djokovic-Nadal, Tsitsipas-Zverev in French Open semifinals

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal know there’s one thing particular concerning the two of them assembly within the French Open semifinals — even when they’d desire, after all, for it to occur a spherical later.
“Each time we face each other, there’s that extra tension and expectations,” the top-seeded Djokovic stated. “Just vibes are different walking on the court with him.”
The third-seeded Nadal’s take?
“In some way,” he stated, “we are practicing, we are living the sport, for these moments.”
Whatever the standard of play is likely to be between Nadal and Djokovic in Paris on Friday — their semifinal will comply with the one between No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece and No. 6 Alexander Zverev of Germany — the numbers related to the matchup are overwhelming.
Start with the large image: Nadal is 2 wins away from his twenty first Grand Slam title, which might break the lads’s mark he at the moment shares with Roger Federer.
Djokovic is making an attempt to get to No. 19, which would go away him only one behind his rivals.
Nadal is 105-2 at Roland Garros — Djokovic is chargeable for a type of defeats, within the 2015 quarterfinals; Robin Soderling the opposite — and eyeing a 14th championship on the clay-court main.
Djokovic gained La Coupe des Mousquetaires in 2016 and will be part of Rod Laver and Roy Emerson as the one males to win every of the 4 Grand Slam tournaments twice.
“It’s not like any other match. Let’s face it, it’s the biggest challenge that you can have — playing on clay against Nadal on this court, in which he has had so much success in his career,” Djokovic stated. “In the final stages of a Grand Slam, it doesn’t get bigger than that.”
It is their 58th showdown, greater than between another two males within the Open period, which dates to 1968; Djokovic leads 29-28.
Nadal is forward 10-6 on the Slams, 7-1 on the French Open (together with a straight-set victory within the 2020 ultimate) and 19-7 on clay (together with a win in final month’s Italian Open ultimate).
This one comes within the semifinals, moderately than the ultimate, as a result of Nadal just lately slid from No. 2 to No. 3 within the rankings. The event seedings strictly comply with the rankings, so Nadal received no enhance for his dominance on the place, and a random draw decided which half of the bracket he was positioned in.
“It’s going to be a special match,” stated Tenth-seeded Diego Schwartzman, who misplaced to Nadal within the quarterfinals Wednesday however not earlier than ending his 36-set profitable streak in Paris. “Everyone wants to see that.”
The girls’s ultimate Saturday will probably be No. 31 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in opposition to No. 17 Maria Sakkari or unseeded Barbora Krejcikova. The final 4 girls all had been first-time main semifinalists.
No matter what occurs Friday, the lads’s ultimate will probably be Old vs. New.
That’s as a result of it should pit somebody in his 30s who is among the best ever — Nadal, 35, or Djokovic, 34 — in opposition to somebody in his 20s with loads of potential however zero Grand Slam titles — Tsitsipas, 22, or Zverev, 24.
Tsitsipas vs. Zverev presents a glimpse of what the way forward for males’s tennis may very well be.
Both are all-court, all-surface gamers who’re 6-foot-4 (1.93 meters) or taller. And each have now develop into regulars within the latter phases of majors.
“The Grand Slams, they’re still a different animal. … You got to learn how to play them, as well. Very rarely does anybody come in and, all of a sudden, perform his best at Grand Slams. Yes, we’ve seen Rafa do it, but Rafa is sometimes not human,” Zverev stated. “For young guys, it is a learning curve. Hopefully I can say that, slowly but surely, I’m starting to get the hang of it.”
This is his third semifinal prior to now 5 Slams, and he was the runner-up to Dominic Thiem eventually yr’s U.S. Open.
It’s the third main semifinal in a row and fourth general for Tsitsipas, who’s 0-3 to date.
“I feel privileged that I’m in that position, and I feel, obviously, I’ve put in a lot of daily hard work (that) has been a key element of me being here,” Tsitsipas stated after eliminating No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev within the quarterfinals. “But, you know, my ego tells me I want more.”