Tennis world erupts over Nadal and Djokovic twist at French Open

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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Rafa Nadal (pictured right) and Novak Djokovic (pictured left) will meet in the quarter-final of the French Open. (Getty Images)
Rafa Nadal (pictured right) and Novak Djokovic (pictured left) will meet in the quarter-final of the French Open. (Getty Images)

The tennis world has erupted with excitement after World No.1 Novak Djokovic and 13-time Roland Garros winner Rafa Nadal set up a quarter-final showdown at the French Open.

Nadal overcame a sluggish start and a stiff challenge from the Felix Auger-Aliassime in an enthralling 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 epic at Roland Garros.

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The Spaniard showed his problem solving abilities to bounce back and set-up the showdown with the in-form Djokvovic.

The World No.1 had an easier time against Diego Schwartzman after winning in straight sets 6-1, 6-3, 6-3.

The Spaniard, who will turn 36 on Friday, has lifted the Musketeers' Cup a record 13 times but was beaten in the semi-finals last year by Djokovic.

And Nadal knows he will have to improve to defeat the World No.1 and reigning French Open champion.

"Of course, we know each other well. We have a lot of history together," Nadal said.

"I am going to be focused, I will try my best. I don't know what will happen but I will fight until the end."

The tennis world was quick to react to the mouth-watering clash in just the quarter-final of the French Open, which will see the pair meet for a record 59th time.

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Djokovic's pace was too much for Schwartzman, who barely threatened despite enjoying a 3-0 lead in the second set.

From then on it was one-way traffic and Djokovic won 12 of the remaining 15 games on a chilly Court Suzanne Lenglen again the Argentine, a semi-finalist at Roland Garros in 2020.

"I have a lot of respect for him. He's good guy on and off the court and he's a clay-court specialist so it's not easy, especially in slow conditions today with a ball that was not bouncing high," Djokovic said.

"I found the good serves at the right moments."

Djokovic has now reached the last eight in Paris for the 13th year in a row and has yet to drop a set.

Novak Djokovic (pictured) reacts against Diego Schwartzman in their fourth round match during the French Open.
Novak Djokovic (pictured) reacts against Diego Schwartzman in their fourth round match during the French Open. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Third seed Alexander Zverev overcame nerves and problems with his erratic serve to beat Spain's Bernabe Zapata Miralles 7-6 (13-11), 7-5, 6-3.

The German had to save three set points in the first set and fight back from 4-2 down and 15-40 on his own serve in the second. He also hit seven double faults in a rollercoaster performance.

"He was driving me nuts," Zverev said. "He is one of the fastest players. I felt every return was put on the baseline.

"We played three sets but we played three hours. He was playing the best tennis of his life, with the crowd supporting him. You can see how hardworking he is."

with AAP

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