The long-awaited and announced duel between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in the Roland Garros final will take place. Winner of a rather crazy semi-final, where he led by two sets, at first very serene, before being caught by a mentally strong Stefanos Tsitsipas, but let down by his physique in the 5th set (6-3, 6-2, 5-7, 4-6, 6-1), the world number 1 qualified for the fifth time in his career in the final of the French Open. There is only Nadal who stands between him and his 18th Grand Slam title.
Djokovic would have gone well from this penultimate marathon match, before finding the King of Porte d’Auteuil in the final, for the first time since 2014. But he did not seem, unlike his opponent, physically affected after 3h54 d ‘a game with twists and turns. Gone are the physical glitches that had offered the Serbian a difficult quarterback match against Pablo Carreno Busta. The winner of the 2016 edition has also started this meeting perfectly, facing an Athenian who, for his part, missed his entry into his second Grand Slam semi-final.
Djokovic missed a match point that revived Tsitsipas
The 22-year-old, yet the author of several high-class performances in previous rounds, was sorely lacking in precision on his backhand, and his usually devastating forehand failed to overwhelm the best raiser in the world. Above all, the Greek harvested his first ten break opportunities in this match, he who led from the start of the match 40-0 on the service of his opponent before being joined.
A cruel lack of lucidity and which does not forgive in the face of such an opponent, logically ahead, very calmly, of two sets in just under an hour and thirty minutes of play. But the Greek has gradually regained all his feelings , and delivered an almost perfect third act in the service (85% of first balls, 100% of points gained behind his second ball). A newfound strength which allowed him, at the very end of the round, to surprise the man with the 17 Grand Slam titles, while he served for the set and missed a match point.
Far from his usual bloodstrokes, Djokovic was silent, not panicked after this missed opportunity, this set lost and the break conceded from the start of the 4th set. The Serbian got back together straight away, but he was then unable to convert his 10 break points obtained afterwards, and let his opponent win in an unexpected fifth round. The sign, too, that the Greek has passed a milestone, mentally, in the Major tournaments.
He seems to have hit an adductor, however, he left too much energy to return, and sank into the final act, where each of his serves was a constant struggle. Cracking for the first time at 1 everywhere, he lost a total of six games in a row in an express set (31 minutes) to see the gates of the final of a Grand Slam refuse him once again, after the Open d ‘Australia in 2019 where he was swept away by… Nadal. The Spaniard seems the only one who can bring down the invincible Djokovic of 2020 (37 wins now), in a 56th clash that promises, Sunday.