French Open 2013 1st semi-final: Nadal defeats Djokovic to reach eighth final

Zee Media Bureau

Paris: Rafael Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic in five sets to reach eighth final at Roland Garros on Friday.

Here is how the match panned out:

FIFTH SET Nadal wins it 9-7

Djokovic to serve. He loses the first point as his forehand lands wide, 0-15. Nadal then executes another perfect forehand, that is a winner, 0-30! Nole’s forehand now lands long and Nadal now has three match points! And once again, Nole’s forehand lands wide and Rafael Nadal moves into the final of French Open, yet another time!

FIFTH SET Nadal leads 8-7

Nadal to serve. He lost the first point as his forehand went wide, 0-15. Nole lost the second point as his backhand went wide, 15-15. Nadal then served deep and Nole’s return landed long, 30-15. Nadal followed that with a similar serve that got him the same result, 40-15. He sealed the game with a backhand winner!

FIFTH SET Scores level 7-7

Djokovic to serve. He once again advanced to the nets and then Nadal forced him to go back, but Nadal’s forehand found the nets, 15-0. Nadal was wrong footed off the second point, 30-0. The third point was an easy one where Nadal’s return went wide, 40-0. Nadal once again executes his rocket forehand and Nole didn’t even move, 40-15. Nole played a drop shot, Nadal returned and Nole sent that over Nadal who ran back and returned it between his legs and Nole missed an easy volley, 40-30. But then Nole did well to win the point with a powerful shot, game Djoker!

FIFTH SET Nadal leads 7-6

Nadal to serve. He wins the first two points off two spectacular winners, 30-0. Nole wins the next point, 30-15. Nadal wins the next point, 40-15. And Nadal holds to his serve!

FIFTH SET Scores level 6-6

Djokovic to serve. And he wins the first point off another volley winner, 15-0. The second point it won by Nole off a powerful forehand, 30-0. And make that three, 40-0. Djoker executes a drop shot at the perfect time and wins the game with four consecutive points.

FIFTH SET Nadal leads 6-5

Nadal to serve. Both the players win a point each, 15-15. Nole was moving to his right and Nadal’s forehand screamed past his left, 30-15. It was another good rally but then Nole’s backhand landed wide, 40-15. Nadal sealed the game with an ace!

FIFTH SET Scores level 5-5

Djokovic to serve to stay in the match. And he wins the first two points, 30-0. After a short rally in the third point, Nole’s return landed wide, 30-15. Nadal came to the nets and forced Nadal deep in the court, Nadal flicked one over Nole that landed in, 30-30. That was an amazing shot, the crowd loved that! Djoker once again came to the nets and this time Nadal’s return landed way wide, 40-30. Djokovic has decided to come regularly to the nets, he did that again and Nadal’s backhand hit the nets, game Djokovic!

FIFTH SET Nadal leads 5-4

Nadal to serve. Nole wins the first point, 0-15. Nadal hits a winner after a long rally, 15-15. Nadal plays a slice shot and Nole’s return hits the nets, 30-15. Nadal’s forehand sent Novak to his left and then Nadal smashed a forehand to the vacant right side of the court, 40-15. Djokovic’s return went long and after trailing 2-0 in the set, Nadal is now leading 5-4!

FIFTH SET Scores level 4-4

Nadal won two consecutive games as Djokovic looked a little out of rhythm. He had been brilliant earlier in the set but seems to be losing his focus a little bit.

FIFTH SET Djokovic leads 4-2

Djokovic to serve. And he wins it and extends his lead to 4-2.

FIFTH SET Djokovic leads 3-2

Nadal to serve. And he holds on to his serve and reduces the lead to 3-2.

FIFTH SET Djokovic leads 3-1

Djokovic to serve. And he wins his third successive game of the final set. He’s getting back into his groove and this could be another tiring set.

FIFTH SET Djokovic leads 2-1

Nadal to serve. And the Spaniard once again displays some terrific play with shots only he can play, wins the first game of the fifth set.

FIFTH SET Djokovic leads 2-0

Djokovic to serve. The game was levelled at 15-15 before a Nadal backhand went wide, and with Djokovic making a similar mistake, scores once again levelled at 30-30. Djokovic then missed an easy volley chance and Nadal had the advantage at 40-30. Nadal then advanced to the nets off a drop shot and a powerful forehand by Nole brought the game back to deuce! 40-40. Nadal’s return of serve went wide and Djokovic took the advantage. The game was back to deuce after another classy Nadal backhand. Nole then advanced to the nets and smashed a powerful backhand and Nadal had a lot of court to cover which he didn’t, advantage Djokovic. And after a wonderfully rally, Djokovic gave Nadal a run for his money and extended his lead 2-0.

FIFTH SET Djokovic leads 1-0

Nadal to serve. And guess what. After winning the fourth set in thrilling fashion, Djokovic has broken Nadal’s serve yet once again to win the first game of the final set.

FOURTH SET Djokovic wins it 7-6

Unlike the third set, the fourth was once again something we expect in a Nadal-Djokovic encounter. Nadal was playing extremely well and was served for the set at 6-5 but Novak once again rose to the occasion and broke Nadal’s serve. The set was to be decided by a tie-breaker and Nole played some superb shots to take the match to the fifth set!

THIRD SET Nadal wins it 6-1

The rallies didn’t last long and the King of Clay was at his brutal best in the third set and had it not been for some of his errors, he would have won the 6-0. He is in complete rhythm at the moment and Novak will have to play his heart out to extend the match to the fifth set, something which isn’t unusual when these two play against each other.

SECOND SET Djokovic wins it 6-3

Nadal was leading 3-2 at one stage but since then it was a spectacular play from Djokovic who won four successive games and won the set.

SECOND SET Scores level 3-3

Djokovic was up 40-30 and had the first break point of the match but his backhand went long and the game was back to deuce! The game was back to deuce once again, Djoker took the advantage and then broke Nadal’s serve as his backhand went wide.

SECOND SET Nadal leads 3-2

The Spaniard once again broke Djokovic’s serve. Djokovic was leading 30-0 in the set before Nadal bounced back and took the lead.

SECOND SET Scores level 2-2

Nadal once again outshines Djokovic with his powerful play and levels the score in the second set.

SECOND SET Djokovic leads 2-1

The Serbian comprehensively won the second point to extend his lead.

SECOND SET Scores level 1-1

Both the players won a point each in the beginning of the second set.

Nadal wins the first set 6-4

And Nadal once again shows his class and wins the first set. While Djokovic has been brilliant but you can’t do much against Nadal on clay. It would be too early to predict the winner as Djokovic will come with all guns blazing now. Game on!

Seven-time French Open winner Rafael Nadal takes on Novak Djokovic in the semis of the French Open 2013.

The Spaniard defeated Stanislas Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3, 6-1, while Djokovic outclassed his 35-year-old opponent Tommy Haas 6-3, 7-6 (5), 7-5.

History is once again up for grabs as Djokovic needs a French Open title to become only the eighth man to own all four majors while a first victory on the Paris red clay would also put the Super Serb halfway to a calendar Grand Slam.