Nadal outlasts Djokovic in French Open epic

Nadal outlasts Djokovic in French Open epic

Posted: Updated:

PARIS (AP) -- Rafael Nadal won an epic semifinal against Novak Djokovic at the French Open to remain the King of Clay -- for another couple of days, at least.

Seven-time champion Nadal twice let a lead slip away in the fourth set Friday, then came from behind in the fifth to beat the No. 1-ranked Djokovic 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7 (3), 9-7.

Djokovic blew an easy overhead on the opening point on the final game and went on to lose serve at love, sending his final forehand long.

Nadal improved to 58-1 at Roland Garros, including five wins over Djokovic. The French Open remains the only major title Djokovic has yet to win.

Nadal's trying to become the first man to win eight titles at the same Grand Slam event. On Sunday, he'll play the winner of the semifinal between Spaniard David Ferrer plays Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who is trying to become the first Frenchman in 30 years to win the title.

In the women's final Saturday, No. 1-ranked Serena Williams seeks her first French Open title since 2002 when she faces defending champion Maria Sharapova, who is 2-13 against her nemesis.

They'll be hard-pressed to generate the sort of seesaw drama created by Nadal and Djokovic. In the fourth set Nadal twice was a break up, and twice found himself two points from victory, but Djokovic summoned his best tennis of the day and won 10 of the final 13 points in the set to even the match.

A rattled Nadal double-faulted in the first game of the final set, and Djokovic broke to take the lead. But there were more plot twists to come.

Serving at 4-3 in the fifth set, Djokovic came forward to hit a putaway, but his momentum carried him into the net and he lost the point. Three points later he drove a forehand into the net to lose the game and even the score once again.

As the tension built, Nadal pulled off the shot of the day -- and perhaps the tournament -- in the 14th game of the set. Retreating for a lob, he flicked the ball on the run between his legs with his back to the net. That left Djokovic with an easy overhead, but he dumped it in the net, and the crowd roared at the improbable sequence.

The mistake didn't cost Djokovic, who won the game on the next point for 7-all. But the next blown overhead did, and it appeared to shake him as he lost the next three points and the match.

The last shot came 4 hours, 37 minutes after the first. A triumphant Nadal grinned, threw an uppercut and answered the fans' roar with applause for them. Then he gestured graciously toward the defeated Djokovic.

  • Sports NewsSports NewsMore>>

  • Lawsuit: ex-Buffalo Bills cheerleaders were exploited, groped

    Lawsuit: ex-Buffalo Bills cheerleaders were exploited, groped

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 8:08 PM EDT2014-04-23 00:08:06 GMT
    Buffalo Bills / NFLBuffalo Bills / NFL
    Five former Buffalo Bills cheerleaders on Tuesday sued the team over a pay system they say had them working hundreds of hours for free at games and at mandatory public appearances at which they were subjected to groping and sexual comments, and one said they had to take a jiggle test so their boss could see how firm their bodies were. The state Supreme Court lawsuit is the third filed this year against a National Football League team by cheerleader...
    Five former Buffalo Bills cheerleaders on Tuesday sued the team over a pay system they say had them working hundreds of hours for free at games and at mandatory public appearances at which they were subjected to groping and sexual comments, and one said they had to take a jiggle test so their boss could see how firm their bodies were. The state Supreme Court lawsuit is the third filed this year against a National Football League team by cheerleader...
  • USA's Keflezighi, Kenya's Jeptoo win Boston Marathon under tight security

    USA's Keflezighi, Kenya's Jeptoo win Boston Marathon under tight security

    Monday, April 21 2014 10:09 PM EDT2014-04-22 02:09:20 GMT
    AP photoAP photo

    "The Star-Spangled Banner" played over Boylston Street in honor of an American winner of the Boston Marathon. One year after a bombing there killed three people and left more than 260 injured, Meb Keflezighi added Boston to a resume that includes the New York City Marathon title in 2009 and a silver medal in the 2004 Olympics. Running just two weeks before his 39th birthday, he had the names of the 2013 bombing victims on his bib.

    "The Star-Spangled Banner" played over Boylston Street in honor of an American winner of the Boston Marathon. One year after a bombing there killed three people and left more than 260 injured, Meb Keflezighi added Boston to a resume that includes the New York City Marathon title in 2009 and a silver medal in the 2004 Olympics. Running just two weeks before his 39th birthday, he had the names of the 2013 bombing victims on his bib.


  • Team to play at Yankee Stadium

    Interview with New York City FC's Claudio Reyna

    Interview with New York City FC's Claudio Reyna

    Monday, April 21 2014 7:59 PM EDT2014-04-21 23:59:03 GMT
    New York City FC has hired one of America's most decorated soccer stars: Claudio Reyna, a former captain of the United States men's national soccer team, to be director of operations. It's the 20th franchise in Major League Soccer. It is the first in New York City and second in the metropolitan area after the Red Bulls, who play a few miles away in Harrison, N.J. NYCFC, which is co-owned by the New York Yankees, will start playing games in 2015 at Yankee Stadium.
    New York City FC has hired one of America's most decorated soccer stars: Claudio Reyna, a former captain of the United States men's national soccer team, to be director of operations. It's the 20th franchise in Major League Soccer. It is the first in New York City and second in the metropolitan area after the Red Bulls, who play a few miles away in Harrison, N.J. NYCFC, which is co-owned by the New York Yankees, will start playing games in 2015 at Yankee Stadium.
Powered by WorldNow

KTBC FOX 7
119 East 10th Street
Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 476-7777
Fax: (512) 495-7001

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices