Rafael Nadal shrugged off his epic loss to Novak Djokovic on the French Open insisting “life goes on” because the 13-time champion suffered simply his third ever defeat in 108 matches in Paris over 16 years. In their 58th profession conflict, world number one Djokovic triumphed 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 in the semi-final and stays on track to seize a nineteenth main and develop into the primary man in over 50 years to win all 4 Slams twice. Nadal, the defending champion and chasing a record-setting twenty first Grand Slam title, refused to dwell on the results of his 4-hour 11-minute loss.
“I am sad to have lost in the most important tournament of the year for me, but life goes on, it is nothing more than a defeat on a tennis court,” mentioned 35-year-old Nadal.
“If everything goes well, tomorrow I will be at home with my family and friends, and then we will see what is next.”
Nadal mentioned he plans to be again in 2022 though admitting that point isn’t on his facet if he needs to re-establish his Paris dominance.
Had he made Sunday’s championship match, he would have been the oldest Roland Garros finalist within the trendy period.
“Although it is a very important tournament for me, I am aware that you cannot win it 15 or 16 times,” he added.
“Next year I will come again, God willing, with the belief and with the necessary work to be able to give myself another chance.”
In their 58th profession assembly, and ninth on the French Open, Nadal had appeared comfortably on track for victory when he raced to a 5-0 lead within the first set.
But 2016 champion Djokovic, the person now liable for two of Nadal’s losses in Paris having additionally triumphed within the 2015 quarter-finals, hit again.
‘Did not damage him’
As the match progressed into the later heavier, humid and slower situations, the world primary flourished.
He claimed a titanic 92-minute third set which had seen him serve for it at 5-4 after which have to avoid wasting a set level within the twelfth sport.
In the fourth set, he was 0-2 down earlier than racing away with the following six video games for his second win in Paris over Nadal in 9 conferences.
That sequence additionally included defeats within the 2012, 2014 and 2020 finals.
Djokovic will now be taking part in in his sixth Roland Garros remaining and twenty ninth on the Slams.
“In the end, of course, if you win the third set you can say that was the key, because it changes the dynamic,” mentioned Nadal.
“At times, my ball did not hurt him. You have to give him credit, congratulate him, but I know I can play better on this court.”
When requested if he had confronted one of the best Djokovic efficiency of their 15-year rivalry, he was adamant.
“No, that’s what I feel. He has not faced my best self either.
“There had been video games on the restrict, video games that anybody might win, and in the present day it was for him.”
Despite that, there is a degree of evidence that Nadal is beginning to lose more epics than he wins at the Slams.
At the Australian Open in February, he lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas from two sets up in a five-set quarter-final defeat.
Tsitsipas, who faces Djokovic in Sunday’s final, is 13 years younger than Nadal.
In the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2018, Nadal lost a final set 10-8 to Djokovic after quitting injured in the fifth set of his Australian Open semi against Marin Cilic earlier that same year.
Even Gilles Muller of Luxembourg beat him at Wimbledon in 2017, courtesy of a 15-13 final set.
“It does not matter,” added a rueful Nadal. “That’s tennis. The participant who will get used to the situations higher is the participant who deserves to win.”
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