By Ros Satar, at Wimbledon
- Novak Djokovic  def. Rafael Nadal  6-4 3-6 7-6(9) 3-6 10-8
- Semi-final spread over two days
WIMBLEDON, UK – Rafael Nadal was edged out by Novak Djokovic for a spot in the Wimbledon final in their continued semi-final.
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Novak Djokovic  def. Rafael Nadal  6-4 3-6 7-6(9) 3-6 10-8
Scheduled second after the first semi-final on Friday between Kevin Anderson and John Isner, it was always going to be a late day. But with the first semi-final going on for 6 hours and 38 minutes and being gone 8pm when Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic finally took to the court, it was always going to be a tough ask.
With the match finely poised at the point of curfew, the pair had split sets before a thrilling end to a long day with a hard-fought tie-break going in Djokovic’s favour.
On the resumption though, there was an inner fire to Nadal who swiftly jumped to a 3-0 lead before Djokovic won three games on the bounce. Nadal grabbed the all-important break before levelling the match.
Faced with the prospect of another extended set, neither could capitalise on their break point chances. Djokovic’s first chance of a match-point came up but Nadal clawed his way back to hold, before Djokovic finally broke to love to secure his place in the Wimbledon final.
After the match, Nadal pondered the schedule, saying: “It’s true that the schedule was little bit tight knowing that the first match between two big servers, of course you can’t predict that they play that long. But yeah, knowing that, maybe will be better if they play us first at 1:00, that’s all. The rest of the things you can’t complain anything that happened.”
Despite the disappointment, Nadal was proud to have gone deep in another Slam, having won an incredible 11th Roland Garros title last month.
He continued: “Played great. Semi-finals, after a while without being there. Winning some great matches, especially in that quarterfinals against del Potro. Today was another great match.
“I felt, of course, that I lost an opportunity to try to win another very important title for my career. I lost two matches. Well, I retired in Australia. Happened when I was playing that quarterfinals match, what happened about injury. Then after that, this is my second lose of the year, playing a lot of matches, playing well almost all the time.
“I think I did a great work. Is difficult to come back after injuries for a long time and have these kind of results, so I am proud of myself.”
The Gentlemen’s Singles final will be played at 2pm (BST).
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