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In the opening moments of the French Open men’s final, Nadal made a statement that this final wouldn’t be a repeat performance of their six-hour marathon at the Australian Open by jumping out to an early 3-0 lead in the first set. Early on, Djokovic couldn’t make a solid return volley on any of his shots, and that is a priority if you’re going to defeat Nadal on clay.
Then came the first of two rain delays, and it was a wrong decision to stop play, as the players were well-adjusted to playing in a steady drizzle. After resuming play, Djokovic came out sluggish and was on the verge of being defeated in straight sets. Then, the five-time major champion showed why he’s the best male tennis player in the world, as Djokovic rallied to even the third set at two games apiece.
Quickly, he turned around his game with some nice pinpoint, accurate shots that broke Nadal’s service. After losing a 44-shot rally, Nadal was forced to become more creative, as this match was slowly slipping away from him. Then, the unthinkable happens—Nadal proceeds to lose eight straight games at Roland Garros. Suddenly, Djokovic is back in the match and more importantly in Nadal’s head.
Thankfully, the French Open officials decided to cease play, as the rain was hindering play on the clay court. This was the best decision for Nadal, as Djokovic was gaining momentum in the match and could’ve breezed to an easy victory. That would have been a remarkable accomplishment since Nadal is the world’s best player on clay.
When the match continued, Nadal made his move by adding some life to his return shot. His serves became overpowering at times, especially when Djokovic was making a run to even the match at two sets apiece. Nadal upped his lifetime record at Roland Garros to 52-1 with a 6-4, 6-3, 2-6 7-5 win over Djokovic for his seventh French Open title.