Best Nadal-Djokovic Matches
Here are the best Rafael Nadal-Novak Djokovic matches. The World’s top two Nadal and Djokovic have one of the fierce on court rivalary between them. These two men have had some great matches up against each other. In the race to be the best both men give tough challanges for one another and have been part of the several epic encounters. Let us look at their best five face offs.
5. 2008 Master Series Hamburg Semi Final
It was one of the first real intense classic match between the two. Both men played some amazing tennis during the course of the match which lasted for 3 hours and 3 mins. 5 serves were broken in the first set itself. Djokovic started brilliantly getting a 3-0 lead. But Nadal bounced back and won the first set under pressure . In the second set of the match Djokovic sailed through with some aggressive and skillful tennis. He put Nadal under pressure to force him into the errors. In the third set Djokovic had the momentum to his side but he failed to hold his grip on the match and crumbled down in the last set. Nadal reached the final with a victory by the margin 7-5, 2-6, 6-2.
4. 2011 US Open Final
I would call it the match of long rallies. There were several astonishing rallies throughout the match. First set after the early close fight Djokovic won it. But the ailing body of Djokovic started to lose out in the second set but still his exceptional temperament gave him the edge and second set also was won by him. But in the third set despite pushing hard Djokovic lost it in the tie breaker. After this Djokovic looked so much in trouble with his body and required a treatment. But after that he was all charged with fire power and he thrashed away Nadal. Djokovic took the revenge for his 2010 loss at the final to grab his maiden Australian Open title by 6-2, 6-4, 6-7(3-7), 6-1 in four hours and ten miniutes.
3. 2009 Madrid Masters Semi Final
It was the third match in a month between the two. After losing the first two matches, Djokovic had pulled up his sleeves to not let this go this time around. And he looked solid with his intentions when he comfortably won the first set. But the next two sets went to the tie breaker and Nadal got better of his opponent on both the occassions. He even saved 3 match points in the last set to win the match. Both these men were retrieving the ball from all the parts of the court and were displaying a high quality of tennis. Djokovic was unfortunate to lose such a close match. This was an epic 4 hour battle between the two.
2. 2013 Roland Garros Semi Final
The 2013 French Open Semi Final gave some exquisite quality of tennis for the audience to watch. Everybody had their doubts that, will Nadal ever be able to deliver his best after the long break due to his troublesome knees? Nadal gave all the speculations a rest by beating Djokovic in a 5 set thriller 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7, 9-7. In the first set Nadal was able to break the serve at a very crucial moment to win the set 6-4. In the second set Djokovic was not looking good but few unforced errors and his persistance allowed the Serbian to get away with set. It took 21 strokes for the first point of the third set. It was taken by Nadal which rolled the ball in favour of the Spainish giant who sealed the set 6-1. With the momentum to his side Nadal looked good early in fourth set but Djokovic fought back hard to extend the match to the fifth and final set. In the fifth set both were playing exceedingly well. But Nadal at the end emerged glorious and took the set and the match. This match lasted for 4 hours and 37 miniutes.
1. 2012 Australian Open Final
This is the longest grand slam final ever played. This match is registered in the memories of many not only as the best match between the two but also as one of the greatest tennis matches ever played. Both these men soaked out for 5 hours and 53 mins. This game took a toll on the body of both and they seemed to be pushing themselves beyond the boundaries. First set of the game went to Nadal 7-5, but there was a good fight put up by Djokovic, probably more than what the score suggests. Second and the third set totally belonged to the Serbian. But it was the fourth set which pushed them to pull out their best when it was tied at 4-4. Set went to the tie breaker where Nadal clinched it 7-2. It was now down to the fifth and final set. Nobody was ready to give it and this set included a 32 stroke rally which was applauded with a standing ovation by the audience. At the end Djokovic held his nerves and won the last set to win this phenomenal match 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5. Djokovic more than physically won the game mentally.Published 10 Jun 2014, 13:34 IST