Rafael Nadal fell in to a strategic trap that Novak Djokovic set up for him in the epic semi-final at Roland Garros, says Mats Wilander.
Two of the greatest tennis players of all time went head-to-head in an incredible four hour battle on Friday for a place in Sunday's final and both players had a lot to play for.
Nadal, who until Friday had a 105-2 win record at Roland Garros, was looking to go a step closer to winning his 14th French Open title, and in doing so would have taken the record for the most Grand Slams of any male player with 21.
Meanwhile Djokovic, who is only one of two players who have ever beaten Nadal at Roland Garros, is hoping that in winning the final, he will become the only man in the Open Era to have won multiple titles at all four Slams.
And it was Nadal, who considers Court Phillipe Chatrier his second home, who started the match stronger, taking a 5-0 lead in the first set and initially dominating despite facing several break points.
But Djokovic, who worked his way back into the first set before taking the next three, eventually won 3-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2 and Wilander believes he set a 'trap' for the Spaniard which ultimately led him to victory.
“The first two sets, we’re not going to talk about them but that’s what made the difference," former Grand Slam Champion Wilander told Eurosport.
"Novak went out in the first set and said I’m going to play every other shot to Rafa’s forehand and every other shot to his backhand, so 50:50.
"Then in the second set he played three out of four to the backhand, no he had moved Rafa over to his forehand and now the backhand was open.
"Rafa didn’t get out of that trap Novak had set for him," concluded Wilander.
Djokovic will now play first-time Grand Slam finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday's final.
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