Home » “How is Novak Djokovic beating crippled Rafael Nadal his greatest achievement?”; “Not a classic!” – Tennis fans recall Serb’s 2021 French Open SF win over Spaniard

“How is Novak Djokovic beating crippled Rafael Nadal his greatest achievement?”; “Not a classic!” – Tennis fans recall Serb’s 2021 French Open SF win over Spaniard

Tennis fans have recalled the iconic 2021 French Open semifinal clash between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic landed at Roland Garros aiming for a second Grand Slam title of the year, having already clinched the Australian Open. The Serb got off to a flying start, winning his first three matches in straight sets. He defeated Matteo Berrettini to advance to the semifinals, where he squared off against Nadal.

Despite initial struggles, Djokovic rallied from a set down to prevail 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-2 against the Spaniard in a fiercely fought battle. The Serb then went on to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas, 6-7(6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, in the final to claim his second title at Roland Garros.

As per reports, Nadal had played the semifinal with a foot injury. Nevertheless, Djokovic’s win produced one of the all-time classics as both players put on a masterclass on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Fans on social media have now recalled the famous French Open encounter from three years ago with a hint of disinterest. One fan understated the Serb’s win, as they maintained that it came against a “crippled” Nadal.

“How is Djocovid beating crippled Nadal at RG his greatest achievement?,” the fan wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

After Roland Garros officials recently released the full-fledged video of the semifinal clash on the internet, an online user opined that the match was not a classic, with Nadal presumably not even able to walk.

“One player could not walk. Not a classic! Who is in charge of your social media? They need to be fired!,” the fan’s tweet read.

Here are a few more reactions from tennis fans:


A look into Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal’s French Open campaigns since 2021

The Serb (L) shakes hands with the Spaniard at the 2021 French Open
The Serb (L) shakes hands with the Spaniard at the 2021 French Open

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have won the French Open once each since 2021. In 2022, the Serb asserted his dominance in the opening stages, similar to the previous year. He reached the quarterfinals without dropping a set.

However, the World No. 1 fell to Nadal, 2-6, 6-4, 2-6, 6-7(4) in the last eight this time around. The Spaniard went on to earn a walkover against Alexander Zverev in the semifinals before claiming a comfortable 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 win over Casper Ruud in the title clash.

Djokovic returned to Roland Garros the following year even stronger. He defeated top-seed Carlos Alcaraz in the semifinals before registering a 7-6(1), 6-3, 7-5 win against Ruud in the final, as he clinched his third French Open title.

Meanwhile, Nadal skipped last year’s clay-court Major after sustaining a hip injury that he picked up at the Australian Open.

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here

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