Madrid Open 2017 Semi-Final: Rafael Nadal Vs Novak Djokovic – As It Happened

Madrid Open 2017 Semi-Final: Rafael Nadal Vs Novak Djokovic – As It Happened

Rafael Nadal has just defeated Novak Djokovic at the Madrid Open 2017 Semi-Final. Here is how it happened.

Rafael Nadal won the first set against Novak Djokovic 6-2. This might have come as a surprise to those who thought Djokovic would have a better day against Nadal. It all started with three break points in the first game for the Spanish player. After winning the second game, Nadal had a long rally to emerge as the winner of the third game as well. By the time the fourth game started, Djokovic already had seven unforced errors.

It was 4-0 in favor of Rafa pretty soon. Djokovic eventually won the fifth game to make it 4-1. Djokovic’s game was getting better by this time. He was advancing toward the net and hitting volleys in behind Rafa. However, he was still making unforced errors. Nadal eventually had two set points. The first set went to Nadal. And, guess what, this is the first time since 2014 that Nadal won the first set against Novak.

Rafael had a break point in the first game in the second set as well. He eventually grabbed it and advanced in the set 1-0. Nadal looked to be in a great form, as he went on to win the second set as well. With Novak winning the third game in the second set, the game looked poised at 2-1. Nadal looked in great control during the set and continued the advantage with 3-2.

Rafael Nadal has just defeated Novak Djokovic at the Madrid Open 2017 Semi-Final.
Rafael Nadal has just defeated Novak Djokovic at the Madrid Open 2017 Semi-Final. [Image by Clive Rose/Getty Images]

Djokovic did have his moments as well. While he was serving with the table at 4-2 in Nadal’s favor, Novak dropped a ball at the net like a master. Nevertheless, it was all Nadal who dominated the game with incredible core strength and body balance. Novak managed to hold his serve anyway and made 4-3. With 5-4 in favor of Nadal, the Spanish player came to court to serve for the match.

Djokovic started it with breaking Nadal’s serve. It was 0-15 in favor of Novak, but Nadal soon made it 30-15 and then it was 40-15. However, it was Djokovic’s turn to prove why they call him a champion. He made it to Deuce and got the advantage as well. Nadal was at his very best to make it Deuce again. He got the advantage this time, and Rafael Nadal beat his archrival to prove that he is the ultimate champion in clay.

Nadal earlier beat David Goffin in straight sets in the quarterfinals to reach the semis. This was his 13th straight win this year. Goffin, on the other hand, won 27 matches this year so far. Nadal found the first set more difficult to win, while he breathed easier in the second. He had an early break and continued the advantage. This was Nadal’s 32nd victory that set him up with the defending champion Novak Djokovic in the semis. Unlike Nadal who reached the semis with a win, the Serbian champion got it easy as his opponent Kei Nishikori withdrew right before the match due to a wrist injury.

Novak Djokovic came to play the Madrid Open 2017 semi-final against Rafael Nadal.
Novak Djokovic came to play the Madrid Open 2017 semi-final against Rafael Nadal. [Image by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images]

Later after defeating Goffin, Nadal called his opponent as one of the best in the world. The Spanish player was speaking at a press conference. According to Nadal, Goffin is the kind of a player who demands the most of his opposition.

“I knew I was playing well in the first set but I just couldn’t take my chances. Winning is very important but also the way I’m playing at the moment makes me very relaxed.”

Novak Djokovic came to play the Madrid Open 2017 semi-final against Rafael Nadal with a massive record against his archrival. In the last seven encounters between the two, Novak won all of those. The last time Nadal won against Novak Djokovic was in the 2014 French Open final at the Roland Garros.

[Featured Image by Julian Finney/Getty Images]

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