Roland Garros Men's Semifinal Battle #2
In the second semifinal of the day, Novak Djokovic took on Roger Federer. It should be noted that Novak had not played in four days due to the walkover in his quarterfinal. One could not help but wonder if the Serbian would be rusty.
In the first three games of the match, it appeared he was as he went down an early break. He was able to break back immediately though, but then struggled again in his next service game, going to multiple deuces. He was able to hold however. The rest of the set it appeared as though Djoko was getting his groove back, but he didn’t look like the same player that hasn’t lost a match all year. He had his chances in the first set tiebreak but didn’t capitalize and lost it 5-7.
In the second set, Djoko went down an early break and looked like a totally different player after that. He seemed to lose concentration and confidence in his shots – meanwhile Federer took full advantage and tore through the set 6-3.
In the third, Djoko found a way to ease back into the match as he drastically cut down on the unforced errors and cleaned up his shots. He went up an early break and held onto the advantage throughout the set, taking it 6-3.
The fourth was a hotly contested set. Nole seemed to find his groove again and he was hitting some incredible crosscourt forehands on the run. Both players played exceptional tennis, especially in the latter stages of the set. At the French Open, there are no lights, so the players are at the mercy of the waning sun. It was 9:20 PM when Djokovic served at 5-6 to stay in the fourth and it looked pretty dark. He managed to get to the tiebreak nonetheless.
At 6-5 in the tiebreak and 9:37 PM, Roger served an ace to take the match. And what an incredible match it was, even though the decision to continue in the darkness was questionable. Roger looked very strong – he should have plenty of confidence going into the finals on Sunday. It will be his 5th French Open final, but unfortunately for him, he doesn’t match up particularly well with Rafa Nadal.