Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal LIVE: French Open 2021 semi-final latest updates from Roland Garros


Nadal: Djokovic is world’s best

It’s here, Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal meet again in a colossal French Open 2021 semi-final.

This is one of the all-time great rivalries in sport, with Djokovic holding a slight advantage overall, leading 29-28 in the head-to-head.

But it is the Spaniard who holds an overall advantage head-to-head in Grand Slams, 20-18. With the reigning champion at Roland Garros naturally holding a dominant record on the clay in Paris over the Serbian, leading 13-1.

“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 remarked, not mixing his words or downplaying the challenge in front of him. “In the final stages of a Grand Slam, it doesn’t get bigger than that.”

The pair have won 38 Grand Slam titles between them, and Djokovic is bidding to become the first player of the Open era to win every Grand Slam at least twice.

While Nadal is looking to extend a ludicrous record of 13 successive titles at Roland Garros, with his staggering record of 105 wins from his 107 career matches. The famous defeats came in 2009, losing to Robin Soderling 2-6 7-6(2) 4-6 6-7(2) in the 4th Round, while Djokovic did get the better of him on the clay in 2015, winning 7-5, 6-3, 6-1, but he would ultimately lose in the final to Stan Wawrinka, though redemption came a year later with the title in 2016.

“We know each other well. Everybody knows that in these kind of matches anything can happen,” Nadal said after sweeping past Argentine 10th seed Diego Schwartzman in the quarter-finals. “The player who is playing better that day is the player that is going to have better chances. That’s it.

“It is going to be an important match for both of us. But is a semi-final, not a final. That’s a big difference. Even the winner of that match needs to keep going and there remains a lot of work to do to try to achieve the final goal here.”

Please follow live updates from the conclusion of Alexander Zverev vs Stefanos Tsitsipas, before the main event of Djokovic vs Nadal.

Read more:

Rafael Nadal responds to rare drop of set to reach French Open semi-finals

French Open: How to watch Nadal vs Djokovic semi-final online and on TV today

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic set for ‘great battle’ in French Open semi-final

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Djokovic on meeting Nadal

“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 remarked, not mixing his words or downplaying the challenge in front of him.

“In the final stages of a Grand Slam, it doesn’t get bigger than that.”

Jack Rathborn11 June 2021 16:28

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Nadal on meeting Djokovic

“We know each other well. Everybody knows that in these kind of matches anything can happen,” Nadal said after sweeping past Argentine 10th seed Diego Schwartzman in the quarter-finals. “The player who is playing better that day is the player that is going to have better chances. That’s it.

“It is going to be an important match for both of us. But is a semi-final, not a final. That’s a big difference. Even the winner of that match needs to keep going and there remains a lot of work to do to try to achieve the final goal here.”

Jack Rathborn11 June 2021 16:28

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Welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of Djokovic vs Nadal in the 2021 French Open

Novak Djokovic was the last man to beat Rafa Nadal at the French Open. That victory was back in 2015.

Since then the Spaniard retired from the 2016 tournament due to injury, before winning four more titles to take his overall tally at Roland Garros to a quite staggering 13.

The road to number 14 has not been without its worries. Nadal dropped a set in his quarter-final match-up against Diego Schwartzman, but still got the job done in four.

Meanwhile, Djokovic’s progress to the last four has seen him come through a five-set thriller against Lorenzo Musetti and then another attritional tie with Matteo Berrettini.

The Serb has played some supreme tennis in the tournament, but is it enough to thwart the King of Clay?

Djokovic currently sits on 18 Slam titles and would move to within one of Nadal and Roger Federer on 20 if he can win this match and the final on Sunday.

We wait eagerly to find out who will advance through to the 2021 French Open final.

Jack Rathborn11 June 2021 16:27

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