Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Spain's Rafael Nadal returns against Japan's Kei Nishikori in their fourth round match at the French Open tennis tournament, at Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Monday June 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
French Open semifinal showdown: Nadal vs Djokovic
Tennis » Nadal may become first man to win eight titles at the same Grand Slam event.
First Published Jun 06 2013 08:58 am • Last Updated Jun 12 2013 07:21 pm

Paris • Rafael Nadal groused last week that he was playing so badly he might soon be home fishing in Mallorca.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Then came a transformation.

Nadal stood at the net following his latest French Open win wearing that familiar crooked grin, clay caked on his arm, his leg and even the back of his shirt, landlocked and loving it.

The fish were spared, and Nadal has lately enjoyed smooth sailing at Roland Garros heading into his semifinal showdown Friday against top-ranked Novak Djokovic.

After falling behind in each of his first three matches, Nadal has won 12 consecutive sets. He’s 57-1 at Roland Garros and on the verge of becoming the first man to win eight titles at the same Grand Slam event.


story continues below
story continues below

"I really am playing better here," he said. "I said I needed to make a change. I was confident that I can do it, and I did."

And so he’s ready to renew his rivalry with Djokovic. The winner will play for the title Sunday against No. 4-seeded David Ferrer or No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who meet in the other semifinal.

Tsonga’s trying to become the first Frenchman since Yannick Noah in 1983 to win Roland Garros, and partisan Parisians might consider his match the main event Friday. But Nadal vs. Djokovic has the feel of a final, and it’s a match much anticipated since the draw was announced two weeks ago.

Because Nadal’s ranking slipped during a recent injury layoff, he and Djokovic wound up in the same half of that draw. As a result, they’ll meet before the final at a major event for the first time in five years.

While tennis players are known to complain, neither Nadal nor Djokovic seems to mind meeting in the semifinals.

"I don’t want to talk about what if," Djokovic said. "It’s going to be a good match."

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.