French Open Final: Nadal vs Djokovic – As it happened…
Suyash Srivastava/Zeenews Sports Bureau
Paris: So that draws curtains to what was another thriller between the two top seed players. The suspension might be helpful for both of them as they would now resume the game which will go in the fifth set, with a fresh mind.
08:06 pm The match has been suspended for Monday. It would now resume at 1:PM (Paris Time) and according to IST, it will resume at 4:30 pm.
8:00 pm The covers are up. The drizzling has however stopped and play is likely to resume in a while.
Earlier this year, in yet another thriller match-Australian Open which was also interrupted by rain, Djokovic defeated Nadal, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7(5-7), 7-5, in Men’s Singles Finals to capture his second Australian Open title and his third consecutive grand slam win over the Spaniard.
Rafa dominated the first two sets and with 2-0 down in the third set, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic won the next six games to stun Rafael Nadal who was heading towards an early finish with his powerful strokes!
6:54 pm: The covers have come up and the play has once again been suspended for the time being.
Match Status: Rafa leads 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 1-2
4th SET: Djokovic leads 2-1
06:50 pm Nadal to serve. Novak wins the first game. 0-15. Nadal wins the second point. 15-15. Djoker hits another shot onto the nets. Nadal leads 30-15. An ace by Nadal, 40-15. Nadal seals the game!
4th SET: Djokovic leads 2-0
06:45 pm Djokovic to serve. He wins the first two points. And Nadal hits one shot wide. 40-0, three game points for Djoker! And he holds his serve!
4th SET: Djokovic leads 1-0
06:43 pm Nadal to serve. Novak wins the first point of the fourth set! 0-15. Novak hits one wide. 15-15. LONGEST RALLY OF THE MATCH (44 shots) won by Novak as Nadal’s shot crashes to the nets! 15-30. Nadal sends Djoker back in the court and then executes a brilliant drop shot! 30-30. Novak hits one wide. 30-40. Novak smashes one perfect forehand and it’s a deuce, 40-40. Rafa’s backhand goes wide and Djokovic has the advantage! And Djokovic hits a winner, breaks Nadal’s serve in the first game!
Nadal leads 6-4, 6-3, 2-6
06:32 pm Djokovic to serve for the set. He wins the first game. 15-0. And Nadal’s shot lands wide. 30-0. And Novak is back in form! Comes to the net, plays a drop shot for a point and now he will set for the set point! And he wins it, just for information, Nadal loses first match of French Open 2012!
Nadal leads 6-4, 6-3, 2-5
06:28 pm Nadal to serve. He wins the first point. 15-0. Djoker wins the next point to equalize. A backhand from Djokovic goes wide. 30-15. Nadal could match with a powerful forehand from Djokovic. 30-30. An excellent return from Nadal wins him a point, 40-0, game point! Nadal’s shot goes wide and its deuce! Both the players fought hard for that point and Nadal hits it wide and Novak gets the advantage, break point for Novak as well! And he does it AGAAAINNN!! WHAT A FIGHTBACK FROM THE WORLD NO. 1!
Nadal leads 6-4, 6-3, 2-4
06:21 pm Djokovic to serve. He wins the first point with a positive smash. 15-0. And another powerful backhand winner by Novak! 30-0. Nadal comes back to win a point. 30-15. An ace for Novak, 40-15. And he wins the game and now leads. 4-2 in the third set after two and a half hours of play!
Nadal leads 6-4, 6-3, 2-3
06:16 pm Nadal to serve. Djoker wins the first point. 0-15. And he wins another! 0-30. Another brilliant shot from the World No. 1, Nadal had to stretch and he couldn’t return it cleanly, 0-40, three break points for Novak! Nadal surprises Novak with a drop shot, the Serb reached their on time, but mistimed his shot. 15-40, two more break points for Novak. And he has finally broken it!
Nadal leads 6-4, 6-3, 2-2
06:12 pm Djokovic to serve. Nadal wins the first two points. 0-30. Novak executes a perfect drop shot to win the third point. 15-30. Good server and Nadal hits it wide. 30-30. Novak makes Nadal to stretch and he fails, 40-30. Game point for Djokovic. Novak hits one onto the nets, Deuce! Nadal forehand goes wide, advantage goes to Novak, game point once again. Novak dominates through the point before hitting one wide, deuce once again! Djokovic once again has the advantage as he wins the point. And he wins it as Nadal’s return crashes to the nets.
Nadal leads 6-4, 6-3, 2-1
06:03 pm Nadal to serve. Djoker wins the first two points, 0-30. Djokovic’s backhand crashes to the nets. 15-30. Good volley between the two players, but Rafa’s shot went wide. 15-40, two break points for Djokovic! And he finally does it! It should give him some confidence.
Nadal leads 6-4, 6-3, 2-0
06:01 pm Djokovic to serve. Nadal wins the first point, 15-0. Another shot from Novak goes wide and Nadal leads 30-0. And one more, 0-40, three break points for Rafa now! Rafa tries to hit a backhand cross court, doesn’t connect well as the ball hits the nets. 15-40, two break points for Nadal. Nadal breaks Novak’s serve yet ONCE AGAIN!
Nadal leads 6-4, 6-3, 1-0
05:54 pm Nadal to serve. Both the players win a point each. 15-15. Novak wins the next point and leads 15-30 in the game. Novak fails to return Nadal’s serve. 30-30. Superb forehand from Djokovic! 40-30. Break point for NOVAK! 30-40. Once again a very competitive rally between the two and Nadal has the last laugh to bring the game back to Deuce! Nadal then takes the advantage as Novak hits one wide. Novak’s backhand goes wide, Nadal wins the game.
05:47 pm With two sets down, the Serb would be under pressure as Nadal continues his phenomenal run in French Open 2012!
Nadal leads 6-4, 6-3
05:46 pm Djokovic to serve. Novak hits another one onto the nets. 0-15. This time Rafa hits one on the nets. 15-15. Rafa hits a backhand and Novak’s return hits the nets. 15-30. Novak advances to the nets and smashes one that falls wide, 15-40, set point for Nadal! Good serve from the Serbian and Rafa’s return goes wide. 30-40, one more set point and NADAL WINS THE SECOND SET AS WELL!
3:38 pm: Some good news. The players are back on the court and the game shall begin anytime.
5:11 pm The play has been momentarily suspended due to rain. This should give Djokovic some time to get his act together! Bad time for Rafa, he was in great rhythm!
Nadal leads 5-3
05:09 pm Nadal to serve. Rafa wins the first point with another superb forehand! 15-0. And he follows it with another spectacular forehand! 30-0. Novak hits one on the nets. 40-0, three game points for Rafa. And another forehand, Nadal dominated right through this game!
Djokovic does some more damage to his racket after losing that game!
Nadal leads 4-3
05:03 pm Djokovic to serve. Both the players win a point each and Djoker takes the lead, 30-15. Nadal wins one more point, 30-30. Nadal wins one more point to take lead and he also gets the break point. 30-40. Once again, superb rally between the two players and Nadal once again breaks the Serbian’s serve!
Scores leveled 3-3
04:58 pm Nadal to serve. Nadal wins the first point with a powerful backhand which the Serbian returns long. 15-0. Nadal wins another point, 30-0. Novak wins the next point. 30-15. Good serve by Nadal and he leads 40-15, two game points. An ace seals the game for Nadal.
Djokovic leads 3-2
04:53 pm Djokovic to serve. Nadal leads 30-15 and Djokovic throws his racket on the ground out of frustration! Nadal’s shot goes wide, 30-30. Novak wins another point to extend his lead 40-30. And the Serbian seals the point with a powerful backhand! He leads for the first time in the match!
Scores leveled 2-2
04:48 pm Nadal to serve. Nadal wins the first point. Double-fault by Nadal, 15-15. Nadal’s shot goes wide this time and Djoker leads 15-30. Nova returns a brillilant backhand, wins the point. 15-40, two break points for Djokovic! Djokovic wins the game.
Nadal leads 2-1
04:41 pm Djokovic to serve. He wins the first point. Novak comes to the nets and hits a powerful backhand for a winner. 30-0. Nadal wins a point with a powerful forehand. 30-15. Novak once again tries to come to the nets, does so but fails to play a clean drop shot. 30-30. Novak wins another point as Rafa’s return lands wide. 40-30. Nadal once again forces Novak to stretch and then hits a forehand wide of Djokovic! Deuce, 40-40. Novak gets the advantage as a forehand lands wide. Djokovic seals the game with a forehand, wide of Nadal.
Nadal leads 2-0
04:34 pm Nadal to serve. Powerful tennis from Nadal, sends Novak back on the court and then plays a drop shot to win the first point! 15-0. A backhand from Rafa goes wide. 15-15. Novak’s return lands wide. 30-15. Another good serve by Nadal wins him another point, two game points for Rafa. 40-15. Double fault by Nadal! 40-30, one more game point for Rafa. Novak wins another point. Deuce-40,40. Novak once again plays clever tennis, Nadal advanced to the nets and Novak once again hits a shot over his head and takes the advantage, break point for Djokovic! Nadal brings it back to Deuce with a good serve. Another good serve by Nadal and he gets the advantage as well. This time Novak comes to the nets and drops one for a winner. Back to Deuce! Nadal hits one forehand cross court and Novak fails to return it. Advantage-Nadal who once again has the game point. And he wins it with back-to-back powerful strokes!
Nadal leads 1-0
04:25 pm Djokovic to serve. Another shot by Novak hits the nets. 0-15. Novak continues to play aggressive shots and hits a forehand for a winner. 15-15. Another good point between the two, they are matching each other shot by shot, Nadal’s return at the last fell wide. 30-15. Novak again tries to be very aggressive, loses another point. 30-30. Another shot by Novak goes wide and Nadal now has a break point. 30-40. A terrific forehand by the World No. 1, he had to stretch for it and wins it after a 21-shot rally. Deuce! Novak’s backhand goes wide and Nadal takes the advantage, another break point for the Spaniard. A double fault by Djokovic and Nadal once again breaks Novak’s serve!
NADAL WINS THE FIRST SET 6-4
04:16 pm Nadal to serve for the set. Nadal easily wins the first point. 15-0. Novak hits a return very high and Nadal has enough time to charge down, wait and hit it for a winner. 30-0. A good return from Novak and Nadal’s shot hits the nets. 30-15. Another superb rally between the two great players, and this time Nadal surprises Djoker with a perfect drop shot! 40-15. Two set points for Nadal! And the defending champions hits a perfect forehand to WIN THE FIRST SET!
Nadal leads 5-4
04:10 pm Djokovic to serve. And Djoker uses his drop shot very well for the first time in the match to win the first point of this game. 15-0. Two powerful backhands from Nadal and Noval hits one above Rafa’s head for a winner. 30-0. Novak hits one on the nets. 30-15. Nadal fails to return a serve from Novak. 40-15, two game points for Djoker. Nadal moves to his right and Novak smashes a backhand for a winner and holds the serve as well.
Nadal leads 5-3
04:06 pm Nadal to serve. Novak wins the first point. 0-15. Novak’s short falls wide. 15-15. Rafa wins another point. 30-15. Some loose play from Novak, once again hits one wide. 40-15. And Nadal wins the game.
Nadal leads 4-3
04:02 pm Djokovic to serve. He wins the first point. 15-0. Nadal wins the second game as Novak’s return hits the nets. 15-15. Another forehand from Djokovic hits the nets. 15-30. Once again a good rally but Nadal’s backhand falls wide. 30-30. Novak tries to be a little more aggressive, tries to hit a powerful backhand which hits the nets. 30-40, break point for Nadal. Deuce, 40-40. Another backhand from Novak hits the nets, Rafa has the advantage. And he breaks the serve. So we are up for a big match here!
So from 0-3 down, the World No 1 has fought back to equalize the score!
Scores leveled 3-3
03:54 pm Nadal to serve. Double-fault by Rafa. 0-15. Rafa wins the next point. 15-15. Djokovic advances to the nets and smashes a forehand for a winner, wide of Nadal. 15-30. Noval fails to return the serve. 30-30. After a good rally, Novak’s backhand falls wide. 40-30. Game point for Nadal. Another good forehand by Djokovic, 40-40. Novak’s shot falls wide and Rafa gets the advantage. Djoker is dominating the game pretty often with his powerful forehands down the line. Deuce once again. Nadal once again makes a double fault, BREAK POINT FOR NOVAK! And he has done it! Breaks Rafa’s serve for the second time in a row and wins the game as well.
The umbrellas are coming up and there is a light sprinkle.
Nadal leads 3-2
03:43 pm Djokovic to serve. He wins the first two points. 30-0. Novak advances to the nets and Rafa’s forehand once again goes wide. 40-0. Novak hits one wide and Rafa wins his first point of this game, 40-15. Rafa’s returns the serve well and Novak got an awkward bounce and his shot hit the nets. 40-30. Rafa’s hits one wide and Djokovic manages to hold his serve for the first time in the match.
Nadal leads 3-1
03:39 pm Nadal to serve. Nadal wins the first point as Novak’s return falls wide. 15-0. Novak hits another shot to the nets. 30-0. This time Djoker returns the serve well and Nadal’s backhand hits the nets. 30-15. A perfect return from Novak and he equalizes scores with 30-30. Novak is hitting too many shots onto the nets, another error. 40-30. Nadal misses one backhand at the game point. 40-40. Nadal hits another forehand that goes wide, Novak gets the advantage. After the longest rally of the match so far, Nadal’s shot goes wide and this time Djokovic breaks Nadal’s serve!
Nadal leads 3-0
03:31 pm Djokovic to serve. Another Nadal forehand down the line and Djoker could do nothing about it. 0-15. Novak’s backhand falls wide, 0-30. Good serve by Novak and Nadal’s return goes wide. 15-30. Novak serves and advances to the nets, Nadal isn’t perturbed with the move and wins the point with a backhand. 15-40. Nadal has two break points. Novak wins a point. 30-40, one more break point for Nadal. Novak’s forehand goes wide and NOVAK’s SERVE HAS BEEN BROKEN FOR THE SECOND TIME BY NADAL!
Nadal leads 2-0
03:26 pm Nadal to serve. And the defending champions continues to dominate, wins first point with a forehand down the line, super shot that! 15-0. It is followed by a fast serve! 30-0. Nadal wins another point. 40-0. Novak loses another point and Nadal holds his serve.
03:23 pm Djokovic to serve. Nadal has won the first point. 0-15. After a long rally, Novak’s shot hits the nets which extends Nadal’s lead, 0-30. Nadal is making Novak cover a lot of ground, wins another point, so 3 break points for Nadal now! Novak wins his first point off a good forehand. 15-40. Two break points still for Nadal. Novak advances to the net and Nadal hits one on the nets. 30-40. Another great forehand by Novak, from 0-40, he comes to Deuce! 40-40. Nadal takes the advantage with one incredible forehand. Another break point for the Spaniard. Novak’s return lands wide and Nadal has broken Djokovic’s serve in the first game!
Just a reminder: Nadal has a 51-1 record at the French open and he is yet to lose a set this year!
3:06 pm Two of the greatest players walk on to the court amid a rousing welcome.
03:02pm History has already been made as it is for the first time in the Open Era that the same players have met in the four consecutive Grand Slam finals.
Two top players will meet at the men’s singles final at the Roland Garros and despite the result, history will be made for sure.
With a win, the World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will become the eighth man to join the list of holding all four major titles at the same time, something which hasn’t happened since Rod Laver’s true Grand Slam in 1969.
With the `Novak Slam`, Djokovic would join Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andre Agassi, Roy Emerson, Rod Laver, Don Budge and Fred Perry.
Three players who achieved the feat before the Open Era are Emerson, Budge and Perry.
Meanwhile if Nadal wins the final, he will become the first man to bag the French Open title seven times surpassing Bjorn Borg.
The trio of Roger Federer, Rafel Nadal and Novak Djokovic has dominated men’s tennis for the last decade to such an extent that only four other men have won a single title since Federer first won Wimbledon in 2003: Andy Roddick (2003 U.S. Open), Gaston Gaudio (’04 French), Marat Safin (’05 Australian) and Juan Martin del Potro (’09 U.S.).
Djokovic will have to play his heart out to stop Nadal, who is in red-hot-form, from clinching his seventh French Open title.
Note: The timings are per the Paris time. The IST is three and a half hours ahead of the local time.