Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal played the best clay court match he's ever seen, says Mats Wilander after their epic Roland Garros semi-final.
The clash, which took place on Friday, pitted two of the greatest tennis players of all time against each other for a place in Sundays final, and the expectations on the match were far surpassed.
The last time the two players met at Roland Garros, in the 2020 final, Nadal dominated, finishing Djokovic off in three straight sets in a largely routine affair for the Spaniard who considers Court Phillippe Chatrier to be his second home.
But their match on Friday, in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 5000, was anything but routine, with both players playing at such an incredible level that Mats Wilander said afterwards that he'd never seen a better clay court match.
It was clear from the start how much it meant to both men, with every single point fiercely fought for like it was match point.
What resulted was a four hour battle of the highest standard of tennis, which even led to the 11pm French curfew for spectators being extended by the local authority, and an epic win for Djokovic 3-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2.
Eurosport analyst and former Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander said after the match that it was tennis at a different level.
“I haven’t [seen a better clay court match]," said Wilander.
"It seemed like the courts were playing really fast and they had so little time and both players had to anticipate when the other player hit.
"Novak, that’s as aggressive as I have seen him be on a clay court especially at Roland-Garros.
“This is clay court tennis at a different level to me because it was so quick and Novak was getting so much pace on his shots.
"The movement and the feel at the net, the athleticism, everything is incredible."
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